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