I’d just come from the dreaded fasting bloodwork and was standing in line at the local coffee shop. As people put in their orders and gave their names to the order taker, I marvelled at how exotic some of them sounded. “Sheena.” “Jasmine.” “Rodrigo.”
My name seemed to become more and more plain as the line moved up. Which got me to thinking…
What if I went through the day with another, different, perhaps more daring name? Would people react to me differently? Would I feel any different?
Part of my musing came from an experience I had a few years ago, when I gave a talk to a group of elementary school students about how to be kind to people who are “differently abled.”
I had explained that, because of lupus, I had lost all of my hair and had to wear wigs. But, rather than be sad about it, I made it a kind of adventure, choosing different colors and styles depending on the day and what I was going to wear.
One of the little boys, no more than perhaps six or seven, raised his hand and asked, “When you take off your brown wig and put on the yellow one, do people treat you differently?”
I laughed, “You mean, do people treat me ‘blonde?'”, thinking first of the age-old stereotype of “being blond.”
The boy nodded. I thought a little more. Then, I answered, “Well, in fact, when I wear the brown wig, people call me ‘Ma’am,’ but when I wear the blonde wig, people call me, ‘Miss.'”
I was a bit too tired and coffee-deprived to think of a really good, really exotic name for myself when I got up to the order taker that morning. But, maybe there is something to the name thing…as there is with the wig thing…
Maybe, the next time it’s a gray day with blah overtones, I’ll come up with something. And see where it takes me!
Blessings for the day,