16 May 2007

What's in a name*

The running joke since 3M got his wings and checked into a fleet squadron was that he is the man of a million first names. People say this because our last name, if pronounced slightly incorrect could sound like a first name commonly heard in today's nursing homes (i.e. there are not too many children running around with this name anymore). Add to that the fact that 3M does the weird southern thing where you have a first name but you don't actually use it, instead you go by your middle name. As if that wasn't confusing enough he got a call-sign that is an acronym. That acronym also happens to be a possible and plausible first name.

So to sum up, 3M has a:
1. last name that could be a first name (LN)
2. first name that he doesn't use (FN)
3. middle name that he uses as his actual name (AN)
4. a call sign that could be a first name (CS)

Are you still with me...

Ok, good.

So here's the thing. The squadron that 3M was in before he deployed can NEVER, EVER, NEVER get his freaking name right!!!!!!!!

When he first left, they kept referring to him by his FN. When someone tried to correct them, she (not me) was told that his FN was what was on the phone tree so people would get confused if they didn't use that name. Okay, really I could understand that logic if say we happened to have the last name of Johnson or perhaps Smith and there were other Smith's or Johnson's in the squadron, but alas, last I checked our last name is really uncommon and therefore unlikely to cause mass confusion because we are the only ones with this LN. Not to mention the fact that he is the only Marine deployed from this squadron.

In the next few pieces of information they sent out about him or when they called me they started referring to him by his CS and our LN, as if this was him actual name. I can understand this, sort of, as it is common to refer to guys in the squadron by their CS. However, I don't think the squadron newsletter that goes out to everyone is the appropriate place to use his CS instead of his AN, especially because you are not using anyone else's call sign (yes, I checked).

I sort of let it go, or at least stopped thinking about it and how much it pissed me off until today.

The phone rang and it was a very high up in his squadron and the conversation went like this:

VHU: Hi Erin, how are you doing?

Me: Just fine, VHU, how are things at the squadron...

VHU: Blah, blah, blah (provides some kind of answer that I wasn't really listening to (sorry))

Me: Well that's good

VHU: How is (awkward pause) I call him CS but I think you call him AN, doing?

Me: Oh, he's good, just ready to come home on leave

Me on the inside: are you freaking out of your mind? I think you call him?????? I call him, AN, because, oh I don't know, it happens to be his NAME!!!!! I know that is weird and all, calling someone by there actual name, but I figured... hey why not, I like to live on the wild side.

Okay really, I understand that 3M does have an overabundance of potential first names but in reality he only has one, that's right just one, and pretty much anyone who has known us for more than about 5 minutes has no trouble understanding what his AN is.

Does VHU think that I hung out with him for a little while and then randomly asked if he would mind if I started calling him by some made up name? And if this were the case would he think I would come up with something a littler cooler than a first name of about half of the men in this country???

Should I mention the fact that other people in the squadron also go by their middle name, rather than their FN, and there is no, absolutely no, confusion???

You're right I probably shouldn't mention that..


* also known as the post in which I use entirely too many exclamation points and capital letters in an attempt to convey how much this topic drives me insane


Alicia said...

Oh thank God the Navy only goes by last names. I may not know the first names of many of the boys, but at least their last name is still theirs given by birth.

Khatina said...

Didn't you know? People, in general, are just plain dumb.

btw, I'm glad I found your new spot. Your blog is tops on my list after all....