Cars, car­bies, Xmas ... all in a name

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS -

AH, names, we’ve all got them. How­ever, not all names are cre­ated equally in terms of the amount of dis­cus­sion they gen­er­ate.

For peo­ple like me, my name comes with a set of FAQs and of­ten a raised eye­brow or two.

My name is com­pletely in­of­fen­sive and unas­sum­ing when sim­ply ver­balised, how­ever, when seen spelt out, things can of­ten go a bit pear-shaped.

I was born 10 days be­fore Christ­mas, and ac­cord­ing to my mum, she didn’t want peo­ple think­ing that she only be­stowed me my name be­cause of my birth’s prox­im­ity to De­cem­ber 25, so she added an ex­tra “e”.

There’s a few side ef­fects of an un­usu­ally spelt name that I don’t think mum could have an­tic­i­pated 22 years ago.

The main one has been re- ceiv­ing hun­dreds of un­so­licited com­ments about my name over the years, es­pe­cially when I worked in re­tail.

They ranged from the in­no­cent to the of­fen­sive. One of the most fre­quently asked ques­tions, ac­tu­ally, was just plain con­fus­ing when I first heard it — “is your dad a revhead?”. Un­be­known to me, un­til an ex­citable man pur­chas­ing car oil asked, ap­par­ently Holley is the name of a car part. As much as I was bam­boo­zled to find this out, it did lead me to dis­cover there is a char­ac­ter in the Dis­ney movie Cars named Holley. No doubt this fic­tional talk­ing car is one of the only things with which I will ever share a name. I am also of­ten asked why I chose to spell my name this way, and this one is all about the tone in which it is said rather than the ques­tion it­self. I am per­fectly happy to an­swer a cu­ri­ous soul who is won­der­ing whether there’s spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance to the “e”. What I am not en­tirely happy about is to en­gage with peo­ple who fol­low up this ques­tion with a scoff or an eye­roll. Just like Ap­ple Martin and other equally un­usu­ally named celebrity kids, be­lieve it or not, we didn’t get to weigh-in on name choices while we were in the womb.

How­ever, my least favourite com­ment to hear would have to be “I feel sorry for you”.

The only rea­son you need to feel sorry for me is that I can’t get a per­son­alised mug or nov­elty key ring.

As much as I may joke, I know that I got off pretty lightly in the name stakes with my one ad­di­tional let­ter, so there is just as lit­tle need for you to ex­tend your sym­pa­thies as there is for you to make snarky com­ments.

On top of my first name, I also have an un­com­mon sur­name that has led to a few hi­jinks it­self … but that’s a rant for an­other Take Two.

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