Friday, August 05, 2005

Sharon, Susan and Catherine

My parents gave my sisters and I very sensible names. Whenever I asked my mother why they chose them, it's always "Catherine is after my grandmother, Sharon is after a friend from University and both your father and I have relatives named Susan. I also wanted to give you girls ordinary names because Inkpen is such an unusual last name. " But I have a theory that adds more psychological depth to their choices. My mom can be overprotective, overly worried and somewhat old fashioned in values. I propose that my mother gave us these names because they're good girl names - the kind that study hard, never get into trouble and choose a youth of chastity . . . or more or less the names are too dull to sexually entice anyone on their own. Especially the name Sharon - there isn't anything sexy about that name. I think of plump peasant women with screaming-red babies hanging from their limbs when I hear the name Sharon. The name itself means flat land. As a little girl I wanted to be called Cher, not like the pop singer, just as a nickname because so many other girls were fortunate enough to have one - and Susan was always changing her name to Susie and Sue. But my mom said Cher was too trashy, and that it made her angry when people said it to refer to me. That was the eighties when Cher came out with that hit If I Could Turn Back Time with a music video of her wearing not much more than a little bit of black cloth. Her son designed that costume.

Better than Cher, I would have loved to be a Courtney, a Brittney - on a subconscious level, the ee is associated with happiness because to pronounce it you must widen your mouth like a smile. Or I would have enjoyed any name that ended with an a. Names like Jessica, Angela and Hannah end with the same sound people make when they're content and relaxed at the same time - ah. Or even a name that ends in ette like Bridgette or Georgette, the ette makes the name look so feminine. What do people feel when they make a noise like on? What do they associate it with? I associate on with sitting, and then sitting with big butt, and then big butt with plump peasant women and then screaming babies and so on. No good.

The funny bit is, as normal and as well behaved as my mother may have wanted us to be, I think my sisters and I are some of the weirdest or the most free-spirited girls around. Catherine doesn't care much for what other people think, and while naturally she obeys her good heart, she pretty much does whatever she pleases no matter how out of the norm it may look. Sue has always been interested in spirituality, namely the kind connected to the earth and nature. She's a bit of a hippy but with class and style. Me? Where to start? I think I've always been the strangest, not to mention the bipolar 2, and I'm definately . . . um, not chaste. I'd describe my schooling so far as choosing to be adventurously sloppy. I often speak before I think, embarrass my mom with the things I say and don't carry the same values and beliefs. I say goofy things that don't make any sense. One of my goals in life is to one day be the inspiration for an irresistible seductress in a fantastically erotic novel. If I can achieve that, or be a zombie extra in a horror flick, I will die a happy woman!

Unfortunately, the name Sharon has grown on me. I am not a plump peasant woman, I have no children, but I don't know if I could connect myself to any other name. Except maybe Maud, but that describes my fashion sense more than my personality. Maybe I've even learned to like it? Sigh.

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