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What’s In A Name?

What’s In A Name?

My name is Natasha. 

Natasha Nicholes - Houseful Of Nicholes

For years, I was the only Natasha in my classroom. There were plenty of Latasha’s, but third grade found me with another Natasha in my classroom. So I became Natasha T., and the other Natasha was Natasha S. So for five years, I went from being just Natasha to Natasha T. 

Natasha Nicholes

After graduation, I went to high school and college, where, once again, I was the only Natasha in my group of classmates, and I was able to drop the first initial of my last name, and just be Natasha. College was the same way, as was my first job. 

Then I started blogging, and my name went on several tours in variation. Latasha, Natalie, Natash, and finally, Nicole. I’m not sure how the universe decided to land on Nicole as the agreed upon moniker for me when it comes to emails, greetings in real life, and talks about me. It’s always awkward when I’m introduced to someone as “the person I was talking to you about, last week” and they recognize me as Natasha and say something along the lines of “nope, you were telling me about and awesome NICOLE that you know, this is Natasha.” Never fails. 

Who is Natasha Nicholes

This doesn’t even bring into question the amounts of times that I’ve been mistaken for someone else, who is usually also black, and that’s about where the similarities end. It happens y’all. 

However, this is not really to talk about the issues of people making the mistake once. Nope. It’s from the people, the REPEAT offenders who continue to call me Nicole despite the amounts of time that I correct them just lets me know that they don’t care enough to learn my name. See, I’m a big proponent of getting folks names right. I repeat it when you tell it to me, and if I forget it, I ask again. I never try to shorten it if that’s not how it was presented, and I never, EVER say, “Same thing” if I call you something wrong, and you correct me. This happened to me in Africa with one of the team members who called me Michelle. Not even close. 

It’s tiring. To always correct something that identifies you. Something as simple as a name, but not really, right? I mean, I used to tell people “that’s okay,” but for me, it’s totally not. To ME, I hear that you don’t have enough in you to try to remember my name, and if I correct you and you ask me jokingly why it matters, then I’m going to REALLY be ticked. It’s my name. 

Now. Among my colleagues – a cool several thousand, I may be known as the dancer, or Mrs. Houseful. At my son’s school, I’m known as Nate’s mom. At my mother’s job, I’m known as Mor Mor Baby’s daughter – or her twin. It’s okay, just as long as you remember to put some respect on Natasha. 

Natasha Nicholes

Do you constantly get called the wrong name? Are YOU the person who constantly calls people the wrong name? If you forget, and try to figure out ways to get their real name, you get a pass, because you try. If you just forego all of that, and spit out whatever name you want, then you, dear are not nice. 

 

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Momma

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

My boss deals with this. His name is Keith, his brother is Kevin. They are not in business together, or even live in the same state. But people CONSTANTLY call the office asking to speak to Kevin when they want to talk to my boss. He says its been that way his entire life being called Kevin, even from people that do not know his brother, so it is just so weird phenomenon where people associate the 2 names together LOL. When people call and ask for Kevin, I go do you mean Keith?? And they get quiet, clearly reading the paper in front of them and go OMG yes Keith!! SHEESH.

Eva Wilson/SocaMom® (@SocaMomDC)

Friday 20th of July 2018

My name has THREE letters. You'd be stunned how often people get it wrong.

Melisa

Friday 20th of July 2018

Yes yes yes. That’s all. Also that first picture will always be one of my favorites because you’re pointing at ME.

Brandie Langer

Thursday 5th of May 2016

I sometimes get called Randy, it's rare - but it happens. People mostly just spell it wrong. Which is really frustrating on pages like facebook because my name is RIGHT THERE!

That said, I'm horrible at remembering names. I don't call people the wrong name, but I'm constantly embarrassed when I have to say "I'm sorry, please remind me of your name." I hate it. I never used to have that problem so it's new. And it bothers me. Though, I'd rather say I forgot than use the wrong name!

Sidney

Thursday 5th of May 2016

All. Of. This. My name is SIDNEY. Not Sydney, Not Cynthia. Not Stacey. Not Cindy. Not Sandy. Not Dorothy.

And if you see it written, say on facebook, and you STILL spell it wrong.....you should be tared and feathered. Or at the very least, flogged.

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