If like me, you have a unique name, I am sure you would understand what I am talking about. Those of you with uncommon names would have come across many instances where either you want to punch someone or in rare occasions, hug the person.
This one is so common that all of you would have been used to it by now. Gone are the days when you would actually try to correct someone’s pronunciation of your name. “Vanity! Is Vanity in class today?” “Erm, teacher, it’s Vanathy, pronounced as ‘vah-ner-thee’.”
And that would bring forward a five-minute lesson on pronouncing my name correctly. I am very sure you guys would have encountered this incident in class many times and are all used to it. In fact, now when someone even mentions the word vanity, I actually think they are calling me. Vain much!
Getting your surname mixed up with your real name
The number of times I have been called by my dad’s name is just beyond count. “Nathan? Is Nathan here?” No, he graduated a really long time ago. I remember having a classmate whose surname was George and like me, the number of times her gender was mixed up, is countless.
I know that many of you would have been put through this torture too and I know how much you would have wanted to just hit your head against the wall (and maybe your teacher’s too).
Cringing when you know your name is going to be read out next
This is the moment of truth, it’s like a mixture of fear and exasperation. Some of you may even feel your heart beating a little faster, I know mine did. It is the feeling of knowing that your name is going to be said next and you know it’s not going to be pretty. It is a really scary moment, such a pity that we have to go through this isn’t it?
Not being called on in class
Now here’s a perk of having an uncommon name. The teacher can hardly remember your name and tends to just call on the people around you instead. So that means not having to pay attention and not having to worry about answering questions. Best life ever!
“Oh, that’s a really interesting name!” These are the people you want to hug. Finally, someone who appreciates your uniqueness and thinks it is cool.
Granted, they may not know how to pronounce it but once you tell them how to, they tend to remember because they think it is an awesome name. This is especially helpful when you are on a date because hey, an interesting name is a great conversation starter.
Being questioned on your ethnicity/nationality
You may love chilli crab, go crazy for sales and talk Singlish like a pro but tell people your name and you get asked, “Oh, are you mixed?” Or for some cases, your nationality can be questioned like when someone thought I was Burmese (seriously?).
This can be annoying at times but it gives you the opportunity to play along and create your own interesting backstory. Now you can be the American-born Chinese/Malay/Indian you always wanted to be.
Being asked if there is a spelling error in your name
Like we wouldn’t know if there was? It’s like someone typing their name as Zeremy and then being told, not even asked, “I think you misspelt your name, it should be J.” Well, J and Z are far away from each other on the keyboard so it obviously is not a spelling error.
With many parents naming their child very differently such as Abcde (not kidding and poor child), it is only going to increase the likelihood of such questions being asked. Hang in there guys. By the way, if your name is really Zeremy, I have to say that you have got a really cool name.
Having to defend your name
Ever come across people who start insulting your name like they have the right to? “What kind of a name is Zeremy? Just put Jeremy lah!” Well firstly, none of us here had the privilege of choosing our names. Secondly, every name is unique and should be respected.
Believe it or not, an uncommon name does help you make an impression too. When we come across such people, it is always frustrating and we do have to defend our name until they stop talking.
Being made fun of
Usually common in Primary and Secondary schools, being different is not always welcome. If you have a name like Abcde, well it’s going to be a rough ten years.
Most of you would have experienced jokes about your name but you do get used to it after a while. Also, it somehow or rather does die down after a while because how long can you make fun of just a name right?
Being asked what it means
This is a common question you would ask someone of a different race because to you, the name is unique. However, if you get asked by people of the same race as you what your name means, then you know you have really got a unique name.
It is usually not a bad thing because the reactions you get are mostly positive and you do get people who say that they wish they had a unique name like yours. Times like this do make you proud of your name.
So for all of you with a unique name, embrace it because you are different and being different is good!
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com