I imagine at this point you're all asking the same two questions:
1. Why the heck would anybody want to be named "Sexy"? and
2. What's wrong with "Sheila"?
Now, I have no idea what the answer to the first question is, but I know the answer to the second. What's wrong with "Sheila" is that Sheila hates it. And this I understand. Totally. Because I hate "Patricia". It's really ugly. I won't allow that name spoken in my house.
And while Sheila may hate "Sheila", she should consider herself lucky that her name is pretty much nickname-proof and therefore incapable of devolving into an even worse form. For "Patricia", on the other hand, there are several awful nickname devolutions:
- Tish (evokes a tissue)
- Trish (evokes a tissue in the trash)
- Trisha (evokes a tissue in the trash in Italy).
- And then there's the worst of the variations, the one that was my parent's true intention for me, for which "Patricia" was merely a portal of social convention:
That's what my parents named me. Patsy Ann Rupp.
I have a very early memory of someone, probably some friendly adult, bending down and asking me my name and me replying, "Patsy Ann Rupp" and feeling immediately embarrassed for saying such a silly-sounding string of words. From then on I was embarrased by my name and tried never to say it myself.
Still, I kicked around the planet with that name hung on me for a good decade before I realized that I had the power to modify it and still be within the acceptable boundaries of "Patricia".
The above school photo was taken when I was ten years old. It is one of the last photos in existence of Patsy Ann Rupp. Soon afterwards I re-rolled myself out as Pat Rupp.
While "Pat Rupp" was a considerable improvement over "Patsy Ann Rupp", it flowed not at all, sounding less like a real name than the sound that might be made by the approach of a limping elephant: pat-RUPP, pat-RUPP, pat-RUPP, pat-RUPP. I still didn't like it . But it got me through high school.
Basking in the friendly vibes of the heartland, I changed myself into Patti, charmingly pronounced by those of my new friends who hailed from Cleveland and points west as "Pyetti".
Which was fine, I liked Pyetti Rupp well enough. But it got even better when people started dropping the first name and I became known as "Rupp", or better yet, "Rupper", or best of all, in a sort of pre- "Big Lebowski" style, "The Rupper".
Though to this day some of my college friends still occasonally refer to me by one of those variations on my old surname, when college ended and my first "real" job began with US Army in Germany, I had to return to using a forename and somehow slipped back into the limping elephant name for a few years.
Then along came a name-changer.
And so I finally ended up dropping the limping elephant for good.
2. Patsy Ann
3. Pat Rupp
4. "Mother". (For reasons that I won't go into but have nothing to do with my own mother, I hate being called "Mother").
On the other hand, if one night the angel Gabriel appeared to me in a dream and offered to change my name for me and take care of all the necessary paperwork and historical revisions, I just might take him up on it...if only the name "Sexy" weren't already snagged... ;)