The beauty of nick names

Posted by on July 12, 2010 at 11:42 am.

I figure the best way to explain myself is to start with the most complicated part. My name. Ettie. As you might guess, this is not my real name. Actually, it’s totally made up. Not that I dislike my real name, I just can’t relate to it. I was born Sarah Anne Berneking. I grew up in Midwest suburbia where it seemed parents during the late 80’s had tapped out of original names for their offspring. My classes filled quickly with Sarah’s, Katie’s, Jennifer’s and Matt’s. Us Sarah’s went from a first name basis to strictly first and last names. I was Sarah B. Unfortunately there were a few Sarah B’s. So in a desperate attempt to re-invent myself during the apex of coming to age, the big move to college, I made the decision to change my name. This was something I had been doing for years at summer camp. For three years, I moved invisibly between aliases; Stephanie, Trixie and Chasity. My hairstyle and color changed as frequently as my name and it soon became impossible to keep track of which pen pal went with which nom de plume. Eventually I decided to stick with Ettie. I alerted my mom who was not altogether thrilled but accepted my decision. It’s been nearly four years now, and I am still Ettie. Not Ettie B.

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