Emmas, Kates and Sarahs don’t know how lucky they are.
And if you work in a coffee shop, it’s highly likely that you’ll pretend you heard my name the second time you asked for it (way too awkward to ask me a third time, right?) and I’ll end up waiting for 15 minutes as someone continuously calls out for “Audrina” to collect her latte.
I know what you’re thinking: “Edwina isn’t even an unusual name, suck it up lady.” But if I face this daily struggle, I can’t even IMAGINE what life is like for the Saoirses, Joaquins and Quvenzhanés among us…
1. Ordering coffee/food/ANYTHING is anxiety-inducing
Getting to second place in any line is when the realisation usually hits you: “Soon I will have to say and then spell out my name for someone”. And they will probably tell me they’ve never heard that name before. Thanks for pointing that out, REBECCA.
2. Meeting someone with the same name as you induces this response
And is followed by about 30 minutes of gushing about the nasty names you get called and the hardships you face.
3. You are anal about the correct spelling of names
When sending emails you are always SUPER vigilant that you’ve spelled “Rachael” not “Rachel”, or “Wil” not “Will”, because you know how annoying it is when people spell your name like this: “Xmfenvbkds”.
4. You’ve given up hope of ever owning anything monogrammed
Remember getting a mini number plate or key ring with your name on it as a kid? Cherish that memory. Those of us with uncommon names spent hours perusing two dollar shops hoping – wishing – that the companies responsible decided to take a random punt on an unusual name for once. (For the record, they never did.)
5. People use your name as a funny “pretend name”
I’ll never forget meeting another Edwina at Schoolies on the Gold Coast. She was telling a group of guys her name and I jumped in saying, “OH MY GOD, I’M EDWINA TOO”. She looked at me like I was a freak and explained to me on the sly that it was her “alias” on nights out. A funny name she would give to guys she didn’t want to see again. My Bacardi Breezer never tasted so bitter.
6. Sometimes you don’t bother correcting people when they fudge your name
“Hi, I’m Siobhan.”
“Nice to meet you, Sharon.”
Every human being with an unusual name knows that “crossroads” moment where they can decide to either a) correct the person, or b) go along with their new name and lead an easy life.
7. You blame your parents daily
Every now and then your mind wonders to your parents. More specifically, what their thought process was when they chose your name. Were they trying to be different? Did they think it would teach you a lesson? Do they not love you as much as your normal-named siblings? WHY?!
Got an unusual name? Tell us about your struggles.