I read a post a while back that got me thinking on the subject that I’m going to write about today. Actually, it was Penny’s post on her blog ‘Lifereconnected’, and was titled “Hey Boy, What’s My Name?” I thought the post very clever, I definitely related to it, and even told her that I needed to write a similar one, because I too have had problems with my name; or rather the misuse of it. So anyway, I’ve been running this blog for five months now under the name Pissy Kitty—which by the way suits me just fine, and if you choose to still call me that you’re more than welcome—but I felt today it’s time to introduce you to the real author of this post. So here goes…My name is Lou…How do you do?
Now when you’re a five foot four, 120 pound, blonde, with a foul mouth and pissy attitude, and introduce yourself as Lou, the first thing that people think of is the owner in the movie Coyote Ugly. And I admit, when the movie hit big back in the Fall of 2000 and I was working the bar, the similarities at first seemed striking. I was 112 pounds back then, a lean, mean, money-making machine, wore my hair exactly the same, dressed pretty much the same, and well…the attitude was a dead-ringer. I sort of liked the comparison to the character in that movie. I’ve since had to tell people though—as I’m telling you now—I did not adopt the name because of the similarities to the character. I’ve been introducing myself as such since about 1976. I’m thinking that was a little before the whole Coyote Ugly thing, don’t you? Now that this piece of business is taken care of we’ll move on.
My father named me Lucinda Dianna. Wrinkle your nose if you like. I do it all the time. I look, nor act, no more like a Lucinda then I would, say for instance…a George, or Scott. Or George Scott! (How clever of me.) This birth name came about because he couldn’t decide on Lucy or Cindy, neither of which I would’ve liked either, although my husband does call me the one now. The thing is when you’re stuck with such a name, how often do you think people are actually going to refer to you as such? Not often. Shortening it just seems to be a given, and is almost automatic. My family started referring to me as Lucy Britches before I can even remember. I am the baby by nine years after the fifth child, which made me basically EVERYBODY in the family’s baby, and the story is that I couldn’t keep my diaper on…thus came the Lucy (loosy) Britches, part. Cute, huh? Eh, I’m over the embarrassment. Now it’s just endearing.
By elementary school I was LuLu. I don’t know who started calling me that, or why—because I never really remember my family calling me that—but that’s what my friends called me, so LuLu it was. All through elementary school and Junior High! That would’ve been pretty cute if I was a ‘cute’ LuLu, but alas…I wasn’t. I was always scrawny for my age, fair-skinned, freckles all over my face, big blue eyes, mousy-brown hair, and two cowlicks (one right on the line of the bangs and one in back) that would never lie down. And I need to add one more charming little detail to make this picture complete: I had a space between my teeth, that my youngest son would delicately describe as…big enough you could shoot peas through them. Yep, I was a real looker! This is the kind of look that doesn’t afford you many boyfriends—and definitely not the kinds you want to show off to anyone—and any ‘cool’ friends you make you have to be a complete clown to get, so guess what I became? Now you know why I’m a complete whack-job today!
Now the nickname Lucifer came about while I was still in elementary school, and was first given to me by the devoted, Christian neighbor across the street. That’s never a good sign when a Christian woman refers to you as Lucifer, is it? Let’s just say I earned the name, was a very precocious child, always striving for attention, and not concerned in the least if it was the bad kind or not. This particular name would continue popping up for the rest of my life through random people at random times. Think they know something I don’t?
I quit school after eighth grade when I was fourteen. Yeah, you heard me right. Eighth grade…fourteen. It didn’t matter much. I was no longer learning anything anyway, other than how to get high or drunk in the alley before/after school, and during lunch break. When your home life sucks, you’re not a ‘pretty’ girl, and you don’t feel like there’s a chance in hell you can reinvent yourself surrounded by people who have known you like FOREVER, you either escape into booze and alcohol, or run from who you are so you can try and change. I did both. I quit school, started hanging around different people, and began to I guess evolve. I started referring to myself as Lou; I thought it sounded tougher, suited my new attitude more, and thought people would look at me differently. They did, but I doubt that it had much to do with my name. Shit started happening quickly after that. Freckles began to fade, the space between my teeth began to close, I dyed my hair the lightest blonde I could get it, and my body started developing at an alarming rate. By seventeen years old I was sporting nearly a D cup, and weighing in at about 92 pounds, with a 26-inch waistline. I had a temporary stint as Louie-too at that time, because there was already a guy named Louie in the neighborhood I hung out in. But whether it be Lou or Louie-too I doubt the names had much to do with the new way people were looking at me. You shouldn’t be too surprised to hear at this point I was also referred to as ‘the little blonde with the big jugs’.
Why do people that barely even know you feel they can just ‘change’ your name and you’re supposed to be all right with that? I’ve had this problem my whole life. I introduce myself as Lou, and the next thing you know they’re calling me and/or introducing me as Lucy, Lou Ann, Louise, Lula Belle (which my siblings call me sometimes and I’m fine with that because they’re my SIBLINGS), Lucy Lu, Luella, and also LuLu (which Pandora Patty calls me all the time, and I’m okay with that too, because she’s PANDORA PATTY and can get away with it). The name Lucretia McEvil crept into my life quite by accident while working the bar, for the same reason the name Lucifer keeps cropping up; I’m a big bitch, and hell on wheels when my temper is fired up. I had a really good friend who used to call me only by my given name Lucinda. She said she did it because she thought the name was beautiful. I still say she did it to let people at the bar know how close we were, by she being the only one that could. Other than her, only my daddy called me Lucinda. May he rest in peace.
I do think there is something to people giving you a nickname, in that they’re attempting to claim ownership of you. Whether it be their way of telling you how close they feel to you, showing others how close they are to you, or just getting downright territorial on you. That’s what happened to me with my current husband. Within days of our getting together he started to call me Lucy. Lucy! Cause what…I look like a Lucy? No I don’t! I asked him why and he told me he didn’t like the name Lou on me, didn’t think I looked like a Lou, and thought I looked more like a Lucy. Umm…okay. Shouldn’t that have offended me? Nope, I rolled with it. Thought it was cute. Now I regret it. It wasn’t just that he started calling me Lucy, but introduced me to every one of his family and friends as Lucy. Now every one of them refers to me as such, and none know who the hell Lou is when that name is brought up. Can he do that? Well, he did! So to my husband, I’m Lucy and now also Lovey.
What’s in a name? I thought about this a lot after reading Penny’s post. I’m here to tell you, in my opinion, and where I’m concerned, not a whole helluva lot. How could there be? I’m a dozen different people, to well…a dozen different people! I am to them who they decided I am, and I had little if anything to do with that. It seems everyone sees me differently. I’m no different. I do the same thing. I’ve formed my own opinions about you fellow bloggers whether you’ve posted pics of yourselves or not. After gathering information about you from your posts, my mind has formed it’s own opinion as to how you all are in real life, around other people, and in your homes. It makes little difference whether it’s an accurate depiction or not, it’s just how I see you all in my head, and I suppose this is true for everyone. Knowing this I guess I’m a little less concerned about the whole thing than I used to be. So to you fellow bloggers, call me any damn thing you want. I already go by a myriad of names, or go ahead, be a little crafty and create one of your own. It doesn’t matter. When I look in the mirror I still just see Lou.