25 June 2011

What's my name?

When I was born, my parents named me after a paternal great grandmother, Nancy Brown.  She was the mother of my paternal grandmother.  She was a tall woman.  She had a long face and loose lips when she spoke.  I found her mildly disturbing.  Her husband Frank, on the other hand, always reminded me of Peter Pan.  He never seemed to grow up and always, even when he was ancient, had a playful glint in his eye.  He was funny.  Nancy Brown was just crabby.

Nancy and Frank fought fiercely throughout their marriage.  They barked at one another instead of talking.  It was their way.  I won't pretend I knew her well.  I didn't.  I saw them at holidays and reunions.  But I can't understand, for the life of me, why my parents sought to honor this woman by naming their child after her.  She was loud, opinionated, and boorish.  No matter how bad I turned out, I figure they had it coming.

I never liked the name Nancy.Not one day in all my life.  It was extremely old fashioned even then.  I haven't met many other Nancys in my adult life and I have never met a kid born after 1970 with that name.   I'm sure there are kids somewhere who are thrilled to be named Brittney or Shaquira or Susan.  But no kid named Nancy in the history of Earth ever said, "I love my name".  And thus, I dreamed in childhood of being named something else.

In college, I thought seriously about changing my name to Madison or Madelyn.  I'm glad I didn't as Maddy soon-after became a fairly overused name for girls of the 90s.  One of my dear friends has a girl named Madison, in fact.  But beginning with her mother, who, for the record, told me that she would NEVER call me anything other than Nancy, I realized the folly of trying to change my moniker from something I hated to something I could live with.  What I was called wasn't about me.  Apparently, it was about everyone else BUT me.  So, I gave up dreaming and settled into an ordinary life as Nancy.

I got married.  My marriage turned south.  My marriage got violent.  My marriage ended.  And then the harassment began.  My ex decided it was in his best interests to harass me at every given opportunity.  To stop his efforts, I moved several times in quick succession and began to use my middle name.  It appears to have done the trick.  As long as no one clues him in, that is.  But that, my friends, is how I came to change my name as an adult.  Not by choice, but for my own protection.  And I tried, to the best of my ability, to make that change quickly and completely.  I never used the name Nancy again.  I changed driver's licenses, Social Security cards, credit cards, the whole deal.  In one month, it was as if Nancy didn't exist.  I began a new life with a new name.

Having made this change and having found that NO ONE I have met since doing so has batted an eye about what my name should be, I realize that the intractable obstinacy of my friends from childhood--who live in a world where they think their comfort should be primary to my own--is now just getting on my nerves.

My facebook page has no listing of the name Nancy.  And yet, most people I knew from high school or before insist on calling me Nancy.  In public.  After 12 years of being someone else, I wish they'd just stop.  I realize this isn't Earth-shattering stuff here, but I'd rather we just dropped the Nancy business.  One neighbor of mine will call me "Liz".  But invariably adds, "Oh, I just can't do it.  You're NANCY!!!!"  I haven't seen this girl at anything but a high school reunion in 30 years.  We weren't great friends in high school. Why do YOU get to ignore my choices?

And my family hasn't even begun to try.  Not once.  My sister revels in telling everyone that I'm really Nancy. That, too, is getting on my nerves.  Because I'm about to move in with my sister and I don't want to be Nancy again.  Not for her and not for anyone.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that I'm not looking forward to going back to Kentucky.

11 June 2011

Tea Party Platform, A Laughable List

This is helpful.
Climate Change Deniers
Debt Default Deniers
Tax Relief for Billionaires

According to a NY Times/CBS poll add the following to the Tea Party platform:
42% believe we should reduce legal immigration from present levels (scared white people, anyone?)
81% support something *other* than gay marriage
53% believe Roe v. Wade was a *bad thing*

Racist anyone?
Tea Party leader Mark Williams says Muslims worship a 'monkey god', blasts Ground Zero mosque 

Herman Cain says that he won't appoint Muslims to his administration and would require special loyalty oaths for Muslims (and not other religious groups) because Muslims " have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them"

Head in the Sand Anyone?
84% of Tea Partiers believe their views reflect the views of most Americans.  Only 25% of "most Americans" believe this.
52% of Tea Partiers believe that too much has been made in recent years of issues facing black people.
93% of Tea Partiers disapprove of health care legislation.
Despite continuing the Bush era tax cuts, 56% of Tea Partiers believe that Obama's policies favor the poor.
Only 7% have a favorable opinion of Obama.  That's 36% lower than the average American.  84% have an unfavorable opinion of Obama.  That's a whopping 51% difference from the average American.
77% of Tea Partiers believe Obama is "very liberal".  As a *moderate* liberal, I find that laughable.  We Progressives can't seem to get ANY of our policy passed or even discussed.

Tea Party respondants were:
59% male
85% white
46% middle aged
56% make more than $50,000/year
78% rate their household's financial condition as fairly or very good.  30% claim the recession has had no impact on their household.  Wow.  They are doing well in this economy and want smaller government and fewer services for those who's lives have been decimated?

Let's revisit one of those items.  84% of Tea Partiers believe that their views generally reflect those of most Americans.  84% think they are mainstream.  84% think the rest of the nation is a bunch of white-loving, homophobic, Islamaphobic, Mormonphobic, poor-hating, jackasses who think, despite paying among the lowest taxes in the free world, that they are overburdened by a repressive government.  Except for Social Security.  And Medicare.  Because those are, you know, *good* things.

These people are just selfish, self-centered a$$holes.