While it’s a bit of a joke how Starbucks tends to butcher people’s names, it happened to me once again. I’m fairly certain I enunciated “JENN” rather clearly in expectation of the possibility, which is worse when you are in a crowded coffee shop. As I chuckled about how Jenn ended up being “Karen”, I contemplated again whether I should give myself a “
After all, I have gone by many names.
My given name is Jennifer, but when I was younger, my family called me by “Jenny”. In fact, I was “Jenny” until high school, where in my small class of 86 people there were two other Jennifers, and we all happened to be in the same French class. One I had been friends with since kindergarten, and while WE called her Jenny, her mother insisted that she was to be called Jennifer. She opted for Jennifer in that class. In the interest of keeping things easy, I asked to be called Jenn.
It didn’t quite stick, aside from the classes we shared and confusion continued to reign.
When I went off to college, however, I wanted a new start. I didn’t want to be the super-shy, uber-quiet girl I had been in high school. That was Jenny. When I introduced myself to people, I called myself Jenn. (I have no idea when the second “n” was added, either, come to think of it.)
This continued until I began working in the finance industry, and encountered issues with foreign clients misunderstanding my name. First were the people at the French back office, who had no clue how to pronounce my name. Was is Joan? Jean?
Then there were my Texas-based clients, who for the four years I worked with them referred to me as “Ginny”. (I rolled with it. I also live in Texas, and can still confirm that it is like living in a foreign country at times.)
Needless to say, professionally, I resumed the usage of Jennifer.
When I met my future husband, his nephews called me Jenna. That felt like a softer, gentler version of Jenn and I liked it. I picked it up for use in social media.
Of course, another name I go by is “Mom”. My 13yo also tends to use “MOTHER” (with a bit of a side-eye and hidden smirk) when her friends are around. I can’t decide if it feels a bit disturbing or silly. I’m opting for silly.
Which leads me back to thinking about my Starbucks name. It needs to be something fun, and unique, that I don’t need to spell for them to get right. I read recently of someone who always tells the barista that his name is “The Lord Be With You”. Of course, in good Catholic/Episcopalian fashion, when his name is called out, people tend to shout back “and also with you”.
This tickles me but is not quite my style.
Jennifer still makes me feel like I’m in trouble. A friend suggested “Gigi” – but that was what my younger cousins called my grandmother. Jay would be easily understood, but it feels too obvious. Maybe Buttercup, after my favorite Princess Bride? Or do I go more obscure?
My last name IS Belden, so maybe I’ll just claim “Trixie”.
After all, why they can’t get my name right really is a mystery.
Today’s post was inspired by this week’s prompt from Five Minute Friday,
which is intended to be a five-minute free write – with no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.
I’m a terrible rule follower and even worse with typos, so this was TOTALLY edited for grammar, spelling, and punctuation after those five minutes were up.