I have a hyphenated name. Always have, always will. I know a lot of people add hyphens to their names to make them sound cool and interesting, but that’s not me. My mum made my name up over 50 years ago. Her middle name is Rae and she wanted to use it but felt it sounded a little short, so she hyphenated and added Anne to it. Apparently she copped a lot of flack for it at the time.
I love my name, but I didn’t always as a kid. Here are some random things about my name that bother/ed me:
- My name was never called out on Romper Room. Miss Patricia never saw me through her magic mirror. Romper bomber stomper boo, tell me tell me tell me who, magic mirror tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play? I can see Jane and Mary and Michelle and…..every morning I waited patiently for Miss Patricia to see me, but she never did.
- I couldn’t have personalised stuff. Name plates, books, cups etc. Although my uncle did get a necklace made overseas for me once from silver which was really cool.
- People typically don’t remember it or spell it correctly. This has never changed. I have been called everything from Raelene to Roxanne and Roseanne. Please don’t ever call me Roseanne. That is all I ask.
- I had this idea as a kid that people couldn’t tell if I was a boy or a girl just from my name, so if I entered competitions I would write girl next to my name on back of the envelope.
- Technology can’t cope. Special characters are not allowed is a common error that comes up when I enter my name. Even my Facebook page extension for my writing page wouldn’t allow it. Fortunately my URL worked! I even had an arrogant Jetstar employee once change the spelling of my name as she said her computer didn’t like it. It no longer matched my passport and I was travelling overseas! No matter how many times I tried to tell her, she wouldn’t fix it, despite me being able to book online correctly and never having an issue before. Technology needs to catch up as there are many of us with unique names.
- People don’t know what a hyphen is! When I spell my name out loud they hunt and peck at their keyboard looking for the illusive hyphen. They try underscore, dash, apostrophe and backslash, really, it’s not rocket science. However having said that I am a grammar and spelling freak, so to me it’s just common sense. I bet they’d know what it was if it was a hashtag.
Things that are nice about my name:
- I love it.
- It is unique, I am unique and it suits me. I am definitely no Susan or a Mary.
- My mum made it up, how cool is that?
- There has only ever been one of me, anywhere. I’ve seen a few Rae-Annes around now as the name seems to be around a bit, but rarely if ever spelt the same.
I am unique. I am one of a kind. I am me. I am Rae-Anne!