Friday, November 09, 2007

Names and Faces

Lou is short for Louisa. Not Louise. Not Lucy. Not Lucifer.

For me, Lou and Louisa are two distinct identities (not personalities people; I'm not that kind of crazy). I’m kind of like a human mullet. Louisa is business; Lou is a party.

Kind of.

As a kid, I wished I had been given a “good” name, like Jenny, or at the very least a “normal” name, like the one my sister Sarah got. The neighborhood boys got a kick out of turning my name into Weezy, Weezer, and Lucifer (a perennial favorite). But eventually, I embraced Louisa because it was different. It set me apart. While there were countless Jenny’s and Stacey’s and Beth’s, there was always only one Louisa.

My family, especially my mom and my sister, have always called me Lou. It somehow became the name-of-choice for best friends and boyfriends. Over time, I started calling myself Lou because eventually, I realized that’s who I am. Louisa tends to be a name I use for work purposes (though when stay in a job for a decent amount of time, people start calling me Lou). Louisa represents a more formal side of my personality, a little shy perhaps, decidedly less likely to curse excessively. Old people call me Louisa. My dad calls me Louisa. People who don’t really know me call me Louisa.

Lou, on the other hand, is outgoing and hilarious. Lou dances like a maniac and sings karaoke (even though she knows she is a horrible singer). Lou is a little more optimistic than Louisa.

As you may have guessed, 99 percent of the time, Lou writes this blog.

By the way, if I hadn’t been named “Louisa,” my mom was going to name me “Portland…” which would have been pretty cool, but not easily nickname-able. (Port? Land? Landie? Porty? Oh God... I probably would have been called Port-a-Potty as a child. Talk about scars.)

Doesn’t everyone have an “my mom [or dad] wanted to name me…” name?


Lou's Sister said...

I thought mom wanted to name you Zoey? And she wanted to name me Maggie. Same name as our dog.

Lou said...

No, Mom wanted to name you Zoe until she got the dog and named the dog Maggie. Then she thought that she should have named you Maggie.

Kendra said...

My parents named me after a waitress in a pancake house. And they have no idea where my nickname came from. That's what you get for being the last of 5 kids.

L Sass said...

Well, my parents really wanted to name me "Erik." Needless to say, they were surprised when they got a girl.

Lindy said...

I was supposed to be Dana until they met this rude little boy down teh street names Dana. So they named me Belinda and called me Lindy for short. My recollection is that Lindy was their favorite celeb's daughter's name. That "celebrity", I'm embarrased to say--according to my mom-was Pat Boone.

Will said...

I have a couple friends that are having a kid and their last name is Lund. So of course as they are selecting a name many of the good one get thrown out. you just can't have a Grace Lund or Mary Lund. I suggested Timothy Bartholomew. So I could call him Tim-Ba-Lund. Yes, I know...I am cheesey.