Don’t mention me
“This isn’t going to show up in your next book, is it?”
It’s a funny thing about being a non-fiction writer. It seems it has made some people wary of me. I knew this was true when Olivia scrunched her face and said, “I can’t believe you wrote that.” And when friends have made disclaimers in conversations, stopping themselves mid-sentence to say, “Don’t blog about this.” I even overheard one of my brothers say to another,”Watch it. She remembers everything” (call it a curse, but it is true).
The other night I was given an entirely new request. The man I am dating asked me not to write about him. And “if I did,” he said, “please change my name.” Change his name? I couldn’t imagine why he would want me to do that.
It was difficult enough to name each of my children. Michael and I used up the entire span of each pregnancy mulling over dozens of possibilities and even then, Olivia wasn’t named until after she was born. Selecting my Hebrew name was daunting, too. It had to have meaning, and I had to like the way it sounded. But now I have to rename someone whose parents had already had taken care of the task? Worse, did this mean I should reconsider the name of everyone I write about?
I guess my spirited cowgirl friend could be called Wild Child, and my spunky girlfriend from the south could be dubbed Tequila. An aggressive New Yorker could be named Eight for his Enneagram personality type, but most people one wouldn’t know what that means. My sister could become Princess for her love of the finer things in life, and quite frankly, my cats, Rocky and Snowball should exchange names. I mean, Rocky startles at the sound of a bottle opening. He is definitely not living up to his namesake.
Harrison (who shall remain Harrison) has been urging me to write fiction lately. “Why write fiction when the real thing is so rich?” I’ve countered. But now that I’ve played with names, I can see the draw. If I give the people in my life anonymity, I could throw open the door to some veerrry entertaining stories.
So, thanks, Fin (or should I say “Fin“) for the suggestion. I suppose now, with your pseudonym, I could feel free to expose your addiction to Colbert, and your loathing of fancy boy haircuts, and your odd love affair with your iPhone. Your getting whooped by a 70+ year old swimmer becomes fair game, too. But teasing in my writing really isn’t in my nature. It’s the reality of life that gets me – the beauty, the humor, the poignancy of the small moments in our days. No name, real or imagined, could capture that.