Monday, August 8, 2011

Adventures with: Names

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

My name is Kayla. I don’t have a middle name – and if I did, it wouldn’t be any of your damn business! I like my name. I wasn’t picked on too badly because of it. It was always half-hearted because there’s not much the icky boy-creatures could do with it and all of the girls were named Brooke, Rachel or Ashley. The extent of the teasing was:

My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble
Kayla! Kayla! My boyfriend’s back!

I was an introvert, so my lack of reaction didn’t do too much to inspire their brainwaves. Plus, what can you do with Kayla Beck? There are three syllables of mediocrity. I did get a few cool points when the musical act Beck became popular in the 1990s, but the name has been otherwise “meh”.

It was almost not like that. My mother was a teenager when she got pregnant with me. The sperm donor is a less than savory character, so we’ll pretend that he wasn’t around. Oh, wait… Anyways, my mother had these lovely prenatal hormonal fantasies about naming me:

Sharla Shantel

What sort of person would I have been if I had been saddled with that name? In all honesty, there was a good chance that it could have been:

Sharla Shantel Oplotnik

So no, Shakespeare, a rose would not have been as sweet under that name. I would have been teased in school. I would have become a stripper. I would not have embraced being White Trash personified as I have now. Okay, I’m not the literal personification of White Trash, but I still check People of Walmart (dot) com for my picture from time to time. One must be diligent in saving her good name.

Luckily, my grandmother was present at my birth and she was not a spawn-ridden teenager. She was, however, a great lover of the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Kayla and Steven were in the midst of their great love affair. Thankfully, my grandmother was able to strongarm the sperm donor into agreeing that my name should indeed be Kayla. As a consolation prize, the middle name is the same as my mother’s and my father’s – and probably half of everyone else in America.

I am Kayla and I rock the Beck. I rock the mispronunciations. I rock the Kay, KayKay, Kaylou, and Becky.

I do not rock the soap opera lifestyle and I avoid guys named Steven (and Stephen) like the plague now. I’m pretty sure they’re all worthless bastards. It’s all in the name.

**Disclaimer: Just because that was almost MY name does not mean that I assume that anyone else in the world who may have that name would want to or have the ability to shake their ladybits on stage for money. Or be as awesome as I would have been. True story. 11/8/2012


  1. You are such a good writer. I was almost Sapphire Star.... we could haveworked at the same strip club. lol

  2. And we really could have blamed our mothers! ;)