Sunday, October 04, 2009

Kathleen with a 'Z'

Wot’s in a name?-- she sez . . . An' then she sighs,
An' clasps 'er little 'ands, an' rolls 'er eyes.
"A rose," she sez, "be any other name
Would smell the same.
Oh, w'erefore art you Romeo, young sir?
Chuck yer ole pot, an' change yer moniker!"
from The Sentimental Bloke, C.J. Dennis

The alter ego, Katy
Ever since 9/11 I've had trouble with my name.

Before that, I was simply 'Kate'. I used Kate on credit cards, employment forms - on everything apart from tax filings and immigration and travel-related documents.

But my real name Is Kathleen. My given name, I mean. And since 9/11 one has to be very exact with any identifying information. So now parcels, bank statements and dry-cleaning turn up, addressed to Kathleen. Sometimes, especially if I've had a hard day at the office, I stare at the labels wondering, "who IS this Kathleen?"

I never much liked being "Kate", or "Katy" when I was a child. I longed for a name like Susan or Elizabeth. This was before the days when Kate was a common name. A hundred years ago there were no Cate Blanchetts, Katie Courics or Kate Winsletts.

But now it occurs to me, that I might just morph into Kathleen. Perhaps Kathleen is my inner child who has been waiting waif-like all these years, to be let out.

For to me, Kathleen sounds wispy and wistful, something between a hippie child and an Irish faerie. Age of Aquarius sort of stuff.

Not me? Perhaps. But I could always try.

On the other hand, I could get more twenty first century and mis-spell it. Like Britannee, Maddyson, Meeshel and Kameron. Kathleewng? I quite like the sound of that. I look forward to spelling it out on my next customer service representative call.

Reminds me of the Fargo joke about the man who couldn't afford a personalised number plate. Changed his name to "JSB 724".

If I were young enough to have more children, I now have the perfect name, for ALL of them. I'd call each and every one WYSWYG - What You See Is What You Get. Perhaps I could re-name them retrospectively?

Of course not. But there's nothing to stop ME renaming, reINVENTing even, myself.

So from now on my friends, it is Kathleewng.

This is the dawning ...

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