A Rose By Any Other Name . . .

hello!When I went to a networking meeting two weeks ago, I reached for a pen to fill out the “Hello, my name is . . . ” tag and instantly wrote down “Rose.” As I slapped “Rose” onto my chest, I thought WTF??

Yes, Stephanie is a three syllable name and does take longer to write down, but huh?!? So without any notice, I was “Rose.”

I was neither flowery nor thorny, and I certainly wasn’t Rose Kennedy . . .  nope. I was feeling very Titanic-y. Where was Jack Dawson?  “I want you to draw me like one of your french girls, wearing this. Wearing only this . . .”photo-74

In about an hour I was yawning, tired — evidently now channeling “Briar Rose” from Sleeping Beauty. But I was excited because I realized from this point on, I could be someone brand new each day!

Here are my results: 

Bernadette — Boy they sure clamoured around me at a cocktail party. (It might’ve been the platter of shrimp I was seated near)  They wanted to know if I spoke French? Finally I ended up giving a few people some legal advice after they twisted my arm and found out my closest friends know me as “Bernie the Attorney.”

Harmony — Barefoot in the supplement section of our local grocery market, three separate people (upon overhearing me answer my cell phone confidently with, “This is Harmony…”) asked me if I could recommend an herb for energy and tranquility.  “Well, if you gotta have both together then it needs to be organic, raw, whole, virgin, bitter, and very very green.” I said, knowingly.  “Vitameatavegamin!   Yes, without question, Vitameatavegamin will let you spoon your way to health. It’s so tasty, too. Just like candy.” Then I winked. There was no question in my mind who I was going to be the next day.

Lucy — As Lucy, I kept wanting to be in the sunlight so the reddish highlights in my dark hair might catch someone’s eye. But nobody really laughed at anything I said or did. Frustrated after telling each stranger my name and asking, “Don’t you love Lucy?” I overate a bunch of chocolate candies, stomped on a few grapes (no wine) and decided to look for Charlie Brown instead. The day was a total bust.  I fell asleep at night to Kenny Rogers crooning, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.”

Mary – – This was an interesting pick for a nice Jewish girl. Although I was blessed once by two people as I sat in the Dr’s office waiting room, but in all fairness, I had just sneezed. I also was feeling cranky, grumpy and tired.  It could be the sore throat I’d been battling but quite frankly, I couldn’t stop thinking, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary…”  I needed to do something quickly to cheer myself up, so I began to smile really big and toss my hat up into the air.


Wouldn't it great to turn an entire world on with your smile?

Wouldn’t it great to turn an entire world on with your smile?


Minerva — Never having picked up a single Harry Potter book (or movie) in my life, I had no idea what I getting myself into with this name. I just wanted to sound smart. But it was too late. At the park, smart alec kids wouldn’t leave me alone. All sorts of questions about Hogwarts and Gryffindor and Muggles. Seriously? In one hour flat the name Minerva was getting on my last nerva and I immediately changed it to. . .

Grace — I resisted an urge to pirouette and arabesque right there in the sandbox, but quite honestly, elegance and class were now my middle name. I told all the confused children that I missed my calling and would catch them later, perhaps in the Royal Opera House and immediately went to a high tea where the waitress curtsied after I signed my name on the check. Perhaps I may have inadvertently scrawled the word “princess” before it.

Bertha— I didn’t think I’d last long as a Bertha.  I answered a few personal ads and nobody would write me back except one man who sarcastically responded, “Boy, I sure dig Bertha.” He asked for my measurements and I replied I didn’t know them, but offered to send him a photo instead. He wrote, “that’s okay, nobody can miss seeing you in Seattle.”  Seattle?  I googled “Bertha, Seattle” and decided that I was keeping this name for the entire day.  I needed to feel down to earth for once.

Mirabelle — I dunno. I always wanted to have “Belle” as part of my name.  Annabelle or Isabelle always captured my fancy, but Mirabelle just suddenly rang a bell.  I went to a different hair salon and wrote my name on the client log. When the stylist called out “Mirabelle” it took three times before I realized that was me, jumped and followed her back to her chair. She looked me over and told me that Mirabelle needed a pixie cut and maybe some spiky bangs. I got panicky and exclaimed, “My name is actually Stephanie!”  She shook her head, laughing. “Yeah, right.” I tossed my long hair indignantly, “Stephanie needs glamorous long curly tresses,” I insisted.  She cocked her head skeptically.  “And maybe some credibility?”  After informing me there was no way I looked like a Stephanie, I pleaded for her to just look me up online, read a few of my blogs, perhaps a Huffington Post.  “Oh,” she said suddenly getting it. “Let’s coax some of those natural gray highlights to show through, dearie.”

Gray? Dearie??  And in that moment, I realized with a long sigh — I would always be “Little Miss Menopause.”

Hey YOU!  What do YOU think is in a name?  Do you get upset when someone can’t remember yours?  UPDATE: As a bonus for leaving me a comment about this piece, if you tell me your first name, I shall tell you what I associate it with.  That’s highly valuable!

69 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name . . .

  1. You WordPressed me into commenting here. I admired your Roses (shouldn’t one be Scarlet?) the first time I stopped by here, but the rest of this one hit too close to home. I had two friends in two different places at two different times who lied about their names when they met guys. Blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out why they would do that. One broke up with the guy who she was dating for several months because she didn’t want him to know that she had been lying about her name. She’s the one who jilted three different lovers at the altar…well, the night before, actually.

    I suppose I was jealous. As a teenager, I longed to give up my weird name of Grace Golden for a lovely name like Sadie Augusta Greta Eleanor, or Sage for short. I hated my first name. My mother tried to persuade me that some lovely Princess had the same name, but I had never heard of her otherwise. No one EVER said, “OH! Grace! Like Princess Grace!” The best I ever got was, “Say goodnight, Gracie.” Some phrontistery or onomastics article that I read said that Graces cover their furniture with plastic. I vowed to prove them wrong! I never met anyone who shared my name until I was around 30 years old, and then it became popular. I never considered that I might hate someone else with the same name until just now.

    I loved your My Three Lucys. I took the Bertha bait at Google. Wow. What a driver.

    Grace Under Fire, pirouetting and arabesquing


  2. Well, my name is Rhianna and I constantly get “like the singer?” NO, not like the damn singer who I am also almost 10 years older than and whose name is actually Robyn. Then people break out in song…”Let me stand under your umbrella…ella…ella” There goes my chance of stardom already overshadowed.


  3. Loved the line – Perhaps I may have inadvertently scrawled the word “princess” before it. 😀

    Obviously you are much more creative than I am … as much as I dislike the harsh sound of my name, it never occurred to me to be someone else for a while! hmmmm – so many possibilities …. 😉


    • Fun game – – but mine are all icky. Although the urban dictionary has some great “definitions” of Stephanie….ha! So my association with the name “Michelle” is the ice-skater because my daughter is obsessed with Ms. Kwan! Pretty name for a gorgeous girl. Her and you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Why thank you Stephanie! I’ve never tried ice skating now that I think of it. Potential date night activity? What do you think? Any association to my boyfriend’s name, Emile? 🙂


  4. Lol! Great post. I tried something like this at a business seminar years ago. People treated me roughly and just stompt on all my ideas. On my tag I had written “Mat”.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a fun post, Stephanie. And Rose, Minerva, Harmony and Mirabelle, too!

    I always liked my first name – there were never any other Jennifers my age (took another 10 years to become popular). But I hated my middle name, Ruth. Wouldn’t even tell my friends. As an adult, I like it because of the connection to my grandmother.

    Funny story changing names in my family. My daughter Kimberly evidently didn’t like her name – she “changed” it to Jane once, saying it was prettier. Jane? Prettier! (Of course, I’m prejudiced.) One time we visited my in-laws and after church, I went to pick up Kimberly from her class. The teacher met me and said, “so nice to have Stacy with us today.” Stacy? She’d gone the whole time with a different name and spent the next week insisting we all call her Stacy, too.


    • First if all, so good to “meet” you Jennifer and thank you for reading/commenting. Now WHERE to start? My best friend growing up in 2nd grade was Jennifer Brenner (1972!) and I have never forgotten her so I absolutely adore this name. Ever go by Jenny? I also associate it with Jennifer O’Neil because my father had a big crush on that actress. Ruth– okay Ruth is a character in my novel (short for Ruthany!) who has an affair and gets discovered and I named her Ruth just so I could title a chapter, “The Moment of Ruth!” Lol. Like your daughter I changed my name as a teen to Nicole because I thought it sounded exotic! And once on a cruise ship my mother was startled to hear my new friends and their parents calling me that. Lol. Similar story to yours. But Jane? “Plain Jane” instead of Kimberly??! Wow. The latter being just a melodic sounding name! So there you have it, my associations for what they’re worth. Ha. Thanks again for your comment.
      Stephanie (not Stephie…. HATE that!!)


  6. Love the post and I think a name is so connected to personality that I would feel lost if I changed mine up! Like you in the hairdresser chair, I would never be able to remember my new name 😉 My name is Maria, but I have always longed or a longer name 😉


    • Hi Maria!!! Oh goodness your name!!! West Side Story is my fave Broadway musical so right away I am torn between that and of course Sound of Music!! Both shows have a song dedicated to the name Maria!!! Now as for length….. That’s 3 syllables (just as many as Stephanie which people find too long and shorten to Steph) oh well, it’s lovely and so are you for taking the time to read/comment. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you!! Sound of Music was my favorite movie growing up!! And we used to play West Side Story in my band at school, so many memories came back with your comment! Thank you ❤ And I guess my name isn't that bad after all, or short 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. On the Internet men are men, women are women and children are FBI agents and nobody knows you’re a dog.
    The False Prophet is who he says he is, but he knows there is no truth and he is hardly ever right. Still, The False Prophet is and he has come here to be
    – The False Prophet

    Keep on blogging in a free world


  8. I’m used to be called all sorts of derivations of my name, my name is Claudette (not a very common name in Australia). I had a work colleague who consistently called me Corvette for about 5 years, lots of different pronunciations of Claudia, and just about any other name starting with C they randomly pick when they can’t understand the word I just said. Saying my name on the phone gets the most misunderstandings. I just shrug and let them call me whatever they remember, if it is important I will correct them, if not – no worries.


    • I must be honest with you– your name has unpleasant associations for me. As a child when I tripped and fell or did other uncoordinated things, I was called a “clumsy clod.” I never knew how to spell that and presumed it was spelled Claude. Therefore I hated that male name and any feminized version of it. The things we remember, huh?! But I sure like you and tried to leave a comment on your recent brilliant poem but it would not post. Everyone should read it aloud! Loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You called me by my name right at the end. I sign all of my notes to my husband with “Love, Hey You”. Even after 17 years of marriage he doesn’t call me anything. He doesn’t call me by my given name, or any pet names, hence the “Hey You”. So for me, not much is in a name. 😉


  10. Laughingly fun read. I seriously do not see you as a Minerva, a Samantha perhaps. I know you look great in the necklace pictured as you said. There no question you could turn the world on with your smile.


  11. That’s funny. Having a different name opens up many new opportunties. I’d love to try this. Unfortunately, I live in Germany and people here are much more interested in your last name. Nobody calls you by your first name at the hairdresser’s or a cafe. But maybe this works with last names too?
    My name is not German, and Germans are always puzzled when someone has an outlandish name. So my whole life I wanted to have another last name: one that does sound more normal, but yet not boring.


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