Thursday, August 21, 2008

Say My Name, Say My Name

My great grandfather's name was William. His son, my grandfather, was William, Jr., but they call him Billy to distinguish him from his father. My father's legal name is Billy, but they call him Pete to distinguish him from his father. My legal name is Billy, Jr., but they call me B.J. to separate me from William (Billy) and Billy (Pete). Then there is my mother's father, whose name is William, but they called him Bays. I don't even know why.

So when I have children there will be no Billys, Willys, Williams, Bills, Wills, or Wilhelms. If I have a boy his name will be Pierre, Gustave, or Orson. I will put an end to the Billys!

I have never been known as Billy. Since birth I have been called B.J., which makes me wonder why they even bothered to name me Billy. I've known people who have had only single letter names. I would have been fine with first name B and second name J, but instead I have this burden of a legal, first name that I don't use and no one calls me. The only person who knows me as Billy is the government and we are not on first name basis.

Now that I have turned 30 and am getting married in less than a year I wonder is it time to drop the B.J.? Should I go with something more mature sounding? But Billy? Billy is the kid with a Gameboy in his pocket and a melting Popsicle in his hand. The narrator of Slaughter-House Five kept Billy as his adult name because people always trust a "Billy," but I already have people's trust--I have a baby face and glasses.

I could go by my middle name, Wayne, but do I look like a Wayne? Wayne is the guy who changes the oil in your car. I can't even pump gas properly. Also, Wayne is Batman's last name and I am not about to put on a cape and have sidekick with green tights beside me.

Throughout my life I have gone by many names: B.J., B., J., J.B., J.B. Hog, B.J. the Bear, B.B., Bee Gee, Beejoreeno, Beelee, and on some crazy occasions Billy. My personal favorite nickname for my nickname is Beej. My fiance also has petnames for me, but no need to list those here. Her mother is reading.

Soon I will be starting my new job as a pharmacy technician and I will have a name tag. My dilemma is what should be on that name tag: Billy or B.J. I'm torn. Should I go with my legal, less juvenile sounding first name or the name that everyone knows me and loves me by?

I don't know. What do you think?


Amy said...

I would put "Damn Sexy Fiance" on the nametag.

But that's just me.

Professor P. said...

B.J. gets my vote. I wouldn't trust drugs obtained from a Billy.