Have you googled yourself lately? I have. Curiosity compelled me to go to “Google”, type in my name, and press “search”. There it is – my website, which I keep meaning to figure out how to link to this blog, or manipulate into this blog and do away with the extra site altogether. If I ever get someone to come put back the closet shelf that fell with a resounding explosion on July 4th, and get the electric inspection to pass, I might have some time on my hands. Then I’m signing up to attend the workshop with the Houston-SCBWI group to figure out how to add my site to my blog.
But there is even more to see in that “search”. There is a website for “The Real Rebecca Nolen”.
Wait a minute! What am I? And yet. And yet. Am I really Rebecca Nolen? When I was in my flippant 20’s I changed my name. Not legally because my legal name is Rebecca Nolen. But I changed it because my first husband, a Frenchman, liked Rebecca better than Becky. “Becky is so choppy” (say it with a French accent). So the more formal name stuck. The Frenchman did not. He ran off to join the French army with hardly an O-Ree-Voir.
I grew up under my nickname – Becky. And it is life changing to change a name from what one is called growing up to a new name as an adult. But I’ve been Rebecca longer than I was ever Becky. So it feels part of me. We grapple with these things when naming a child, and now the naming of a grandchild. It all comes down to – what will she/he be CALLED? The calling of a name is an intimate gesture from one person to another. So what happens when that gesture is interrupted by a change?
Now, here is my scientific analysis: changing your name with all your new acquaintances isn’t difficult, most of the time.
One assumes when introducing oneself under a certain name that the other person accepts that is your real and “called” name. This is not always so with the name Rebecca, as I’m sure those with the name Robert (Bob? Robby? Rob?) understand, and the name Elizabeth (Betty? Liz? Elspeth? Lizzie?) and there are many other names out there that chopped to bits and remade – I get called Becky anyway. I had a lady I worked for for about ten years call me Becky, although everyone else at the workplace called me Rebecca. It was a school setting so it wasn’t as if my name was not used in general assemblies, etc. I don’t know what it was that this lady had against the name Rebecca. Or was she trying to put me in place because she was the boss? It is a mystery.
It is acceptable and understandable when friends from my youth, and when my family call me Becky. They have always called me Becky. And so by the right invested by me – they can call me Becky.
I am still Rebecca Nolen.
There have been three instances where my identity has been compromised. At one point I owed money to the Ebony magazine group for the books they sent me as part of their book club membership. I never received the books. After getting a couple of nasty notices, I called the magazine’s accounting department. Once the person on the other end of the phone realized this particular Rebecca Nolen was unlikely to have ordered a book called something like “Hot Black Mamas in the Office!” he took me off the “creditors have been summoned to evict you” list.
Over the last few months I have taken several calls on my cell about the cars I had shown interest in. The people calling me were from Volvo, Mercedes, and Cadillac dealerships. Yeah, roight! If I were looking at all I would more likely to be looking a little lower on the car scale. No, it wasn’t me looking at cars on the internet and typing in one of my OLD addresses but then typing in my current cell number.
How do these crooks do that?
When I first purchased my .com name to keep it in reserve, I put up a small website with my email address. No sooner than that I had an email from an eleven year old Rebecca Nolen in Australia. She told me she had wanted to get the .com of our name but she was too late in doing so. I don’t know how I was supposed to respond to that email. I told her I was glad to hear from her, but yep, I got the name.
Now I see the REAL Rebecca Nolen has a website. So even if I wanted to give up my .com I wouldn’t want someone like that to have it. I would want the other totally real Rebecca Nolen in Australia to have it. The real-ish Rebecca Nolen of all has spoken, the one with the actual and real .com. So there!