Monday, December 07, 2009

What's in a Name?

As a child, I would always go to kitschy stands that were filled with plastic license plates and other items bearing people's names in the hopes that one day I'd see something with my name on it. I'm not sure why I kept doing this when I knew very well that my name was not common enough to be included in the lot of names that received this honor.

I like my name a lot and I like that it is unusual, but even I was not immune to wanting some affirmation from the gift shop industry. Once, my father had a name card made for me.

So I recounted this memory to a couple of folks as we approached the gift shop at Luray Caverns, a tourist attraction that has the obligatory rack of name-related items. For moment I thought to look, even though I told myself that this was ridiculous. I glanced at the street signs that started with "J" and saw "Jade." Figures. Still, I kept looking.

And then what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a street sign bearing my name! Finally. Jada Blvd. There were twosigns and the child in me wanted to snatch up both. The grown-up in me thought better of it and left the other sign there for the next "Jada."

The importance being named and seeing your name was brought home to me again later that week when I noticed that at work my name was left off of the staff list on a program. Earlier, I'd been left off of birthday greeting for the boss as well. Both times I was told that someone had used an old list that no one had bothered to update.