We are everywhere.
Unless you are one of us you do not understand the trauma of being one of three girls with the same name in every class you’ve ever been in. You don’t comprehend the pure suckiness of always having to follow your name with an initial because Jenny C. is one side and Jenny F. is on the other.
Sure, our mothers claim that they had no idea, none at all, that the name was so mega-popular. In my case I was named after my great aunt Jennie (Jennie was in the top ten in the 1870’s. Weird!). But none of that matters when people are trying to figure out which Jennie’s phone number is written on the stall of the middle school bathroom.
It’s kind of a non-name, like having beige walls in a house. You don’t even notice them because they’re so not interesting; so dull; so bland.
In high school the Jennie situation got completely out of hand. In our class of 90 girls there was me, Jennie Davis. Then there was her, also Jennie Davis. So it came down to middle names: her Lyn to my Hildegard.
Yes, that is right. My middle name is the clunkiest of clunkers. The name they give Hippos in children’s books.
When you have one name that is the ultimate yawner you start to love the brazen uniqueness of something completely wacky. I started going by Hildie off and on because of high school. Mostly just to make it easier for myself. Also because I loved being the only person with that name.
Oh yes, except for my mother, Hildegard. She has always gone by Lorie (not sure where that came from) to differentiate herself from her mother. Also Hildegard. It’s the name of an oldest daughter of an oldest daughter of an oldest daughter*. Here are the three of us shortly before my grandmother died (I’m the baby, obviously):
Hildegard means something to me. I was thrilled to get rid of my last name when I got married but there was no way I was getting rid of Hildie.
So what’s the point of all this?
I’m dumping the name Jennie.
I can’t stand it. It’s just not me. Or rather it’s just everyone.
I’m sorry if you think this is completely bizarre. I’m simply trying to explain to you the reason behind it. I will probably remain Jennie in real life. I mean, it’s not like I’m having a mid-life crisis or anything. It’s only that on the interwebs, where you are nothing more than a name and a tiny avatar picture, it’s kind of hard to figure out which Jen/Jenn/Jenny/Jennie/Jennifer goes with which blog. If I suddenly become famous and have to be Hildie all the time, that’s fine too. I am just as much Hildie as I am Jennie.
So, hi there, my name is Hildie! What’s yours?
*I gave Hildegard to my oldest daughter too. But I gave her a buffer middle name in case she couldn’t handle it. So India Jane Hildegard she is.
I had to throw in this cute picture of my grandmother Hildegard waitressing in her hometown of Vienna, Austria.