Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Could I Keep My Name?

I just realized that ever since I have been hearing from old friends, meeting former batchmates, burning telephone lines with my childhood friends, getting visits from our relatives -- my 8-year-old MC has been getting confused.

'Mama, could I retain my name why I grow-up?,' she asked me one night, after having dinner with a former high school classmate.

Her question was a puzzle to me so I asked her to explain further. To which she said, 'I hear people calling you with different names, and you all answer to those names. I just wonder if I would have to change my name later or if I could keep what I have now.'

I explained to her that you get 'tagged' with different names when you grow up. And at some point in your life, you might also want to experiment with your name; might even want to change your name. You might even hate the name that you were christened with; and would discover a cuter one.

What happened to my different name tags? My parents used to call me 'anak' (child), then resorted to baby me with Kengkeng (in response to the Philippine tradition of nicknames ringing like a bell ;D), then when I was in school I shortened it to 'Keng' because I told them I am not a baby anymore. My siblings would call me 'Ate' (big sister).

But then again, classmates would call me Raquel or Raq or Quel or Rocky. When I got my own clique, we teased each other with funny names, exploring our weaknesses. A real skinny friend would be named 'Bonessa' as in 'full of bones. I forgot what they called me!

When I started working, I kept my real one. Then when I left for Thailand, where they dont have 'Q' in their alphabet. I ended up again called 'Rak' or 'Raki' or 'Rachel.' That carried on until I landed in Germany where I was named 'Rachel', 'Rakel', 'Raquel', added to that, being called 'Mrs.'.

With my husband, I am 'schatz' and 'liebling' - all terms of endearments. When I became a mother, I answer to 'Mama' or 'Mami.' When I started blogging, my fellow bloggers use my blog personalities. And now that we have started our own business, our partners would call me 'partner' and the people working for us refers to me as 'Ma'am.'

No wonder MC's getting confused. Yet she enjoyed my 'name tag' story and could be plotting her own, too!

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