Sunday, September 2, 2012

What's In A Name?

Last month we changed our safe deposit box to a different bank. As I looked through all our treasures, I came across my birth certificate and a document from when I had my name legally changed at age 13. All my sisters had “Ann” for their middle name. I was christened “Martha Kim”. While I was named after my great-grandmother, my sisters weren’t named after anyone. They were just given names my parents liked. I had always felt like I was different and didn’t fit in. This name thing was concrete proof that my fears were true. How else do you explain it? It didn’t matter that I was always called Kim. I had let it slip to some classmates what my given name was. Bad idea! I came home every day whining that the mean boys were calling me Martha. They usually called me “Board” because my chest was as flat as one. You’d think Martha would have been a nice change from that. Unfortunately, there was a girl in our class named Martha and she was not my favorite person. She was tall, quiet, and kind of dorky. When the nun would leave the class unattended, Martha would pull out a book and read. Without being told to. Just read on her own. OMG! Something about the way Martha walked was strange too. She kind of walked without moving any part of her body except her feet. For some inexplicable reason, she reminded me of Natasha from the Bullwinkle cartoons. I can’t figure out why. Martha definitely didn’t wear a strapless blue dress or heels. She didn’t have a Russian accent either. In my brain, though, she was the spitting image of an evil cartoon character. My parents eventually relented and had my name legally changed to Kimberly Ann. Sigh... What a relief. Funny thing though, I lost the name I detested but still didn’t feel like I fit in. Oh well, I appreciated that my parents had tried. As I was looking over the papers in my safe deposit box, I noticed an interesting item on the legal document. The clerk who signed the document was named Martha. What are the odds? I truly hope I didn’t spout off about how much I hated that name. Knowing me, though, I probably did. Sorry to all the Marthas out there. All you cartoon characters too.

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