The Nickname Nightmare

chasing-butterflies-2516581_1280Did you ever have a nickname? Nicknames can be wonderful and fun, or they can be horrible, cruel nightmares.

Of course, Ronnie is a nickname. Ronnie was originally given to me by my Aunts on my Dad’s side when I was just a little thing because I hated Rhona so much. It never, however, caught on with my family since, apparently, my mother took great offense at the fact that I didn’t like Rhona. I never really understood this. Ronnie sounded similar to Rhona. We didn’t go around calling my dad Edward. He was Ed. We didn’t call my sister Melissa. She was Missy. But, for some reason, I was not allowed to morph my name.

Ronnie reared its head again in college when my friends picked it up. Rhona was just, well, weird. And it was too close to “RhonDa” and “RODa” and everything else that isn’t quite Rhona. So, Ronnie reigned, yet, again…temporarily.

Then, once again it disappeared during my first marriage. My husband didn’t care for it. It sounded “masculine”. It reminded him of our college days…NOT his favorite time. So, we were back to Rhona for the next seven years.

Finally Ronnie came to stay about 24 yrs. ago, after my husband passed away. I had gone back to work and, just as in college, my boss decided Rhona was just too much to deal with! She asked if I had a nickname. Ronnie was resurrected and she was here to stay!

Frankly, I’m glad. I never felt like a Rhona. Rhona feels “old” to me…“dowdy”. Ronnie suits me. It feels like who I am. I hope my tombstone says Ronnie.

But, we don’t always get to pick our nicknames, do we?

Interestingly, my mother, who was so offended by the slight deformation of Rhona to Ronnie is responsible for the nickname that plagued me the most!

It started out innocently enough. Being 51 years old and only 4’9, you might well imagine that I was a fairly small child. And you would be correct. So, thus, it wasn’t long into my life before my mother started calling me Tiny.

Ok, Tiny is not that bad. I took Tiny for many years with little issue. However, as mothers often do, the initial nickname soon began to morph into new more interesting names. (Now, I understand this phenomenon, because I do it with my dogs. Our late yorkie, Baxter, became Baxi, and Baxter Bunny. Tucker has become Tuck Tuck which then became Tuck Tuck Goose or sometimes just Goose.)

Well soon, Tiny became Teenie. Then Teenie became, you guessed it, Teenie-Weenie! And finally… yep, you see where I’m going, don’t you?! Weenie! By the time I was in JUNIOR HIGH she was calling me Weenie. At this time, Mom was also my Sunday School teacher. This in and of itself is a junior high kids nightmare, but imagine my horror as I’m sitting in the room on a Sunday morning and my teacher asks Weenie to pass out the papers! Oh,Yes, yes she did!

To my credit, I did not make the 11 o’clock news as the latest teenager to murder their parent in their sleep, but the thought did cross my mind.

So, I set out this plea. Mothers…Mothers of the World, THINK! THINK before you damage your children with these hurtful, thoughtless nicknames that will scar them for life! Ask my own dear children…I would NEVER do such a thing to them! Right? …. Hez, Hezita, Beaver, Samuella, Sweet Baboo, Matty, Matilda, Stephanella, Stephie Sunshine…

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