I’m Not Perky, But She Is

A long time ago, in a town far from here, a young couple had a son.

Official seal of Lynn, Massachusetts

Official seal of Lynn, Massachusetts. Maybe I can change the name of the town to Len. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote that first sentence, then realized I’m writing this during the Christmas season. It wasn’t that long ago, not that far from here, not that kid. The couple was my parents and I was the kid. So, I’m off to a good start because you already know this is far from the greatest story ever told.

Anyhow, the young couple named their son Leonard. Yes, that’s my real name. My blog says I’m Omawarisan, but my birth certificate, my driver’s license and my voter registration card say that I’m Leonard.

No one calls me Leonard. I was Lenny until I got to college and decided that Len was more mature sounding. To my folks and a certain group of my closest friends, I’m still Lenny. To most of the world, my name is Len. Len is the problem. When you say Len, with a southeastern US accent, it ends up sounding like Lynn.

I’ve worked for the same organization since 1985. There people there who I’ve known for decades. They’ve known me in good times and bad. But they don’t seem to know that my name is not Lynn. Lynn sounds like someone who is perky and loves a cute pair of shoes. I don’t perk and love a beat up pair of tennis shoes.

These people see my name in writing. In the old days, I’d leave people a note and sign it Len. They’d write back to Lynn. Today, I send e-mails with my name in the signature on the bottom: L – E – N. They don’t respond to that guy, Len. They write to that perky Lynn.

Once, I transferred to a new assignment. My co-workers wanted to express their appreciation for my contribution to the old office. They had a plaque made for Lynn.

I’ll point out to people that I spell my name differently than they do. They always apologize and promise not to make that mistake again. I’m sure they mean well. They soon slip back to writing notes to…her.

I’m retiring next year. Lynn hasn’t told me what her plans are. My bet is they’ll miss her, and wonder where that old guy went.


45 Comments on “I’m Not Perky, But She Is”

  1. List of X says:

    Did you try asking your co-workers to call you “Leo” instead? Or does southeastern accent turns it into “Leah”?

  2. Margie says:

    Proud to be one of those in the ‘Lenny’ category! Besides, she (Lynn) just isn’t as funny as you are, perky or not.

  3. T E Stazyk says:

    So Southern Barbie calls “Ken,” “Kynn?”

  4. lbwoodgate says:

    Hey! Be grateful you have a birth name that can be shortened to something more to your liking. I got stuck with “Larry” and am forever scarred by a name that not only hasn’t any shortened version that sounds more “manly” but is more associated with one of the 3 Stooges than with someone more distinguished. Even Larry Hagman never really could be taken seriously as the evil patriarch in “Dallas”. 😦

    • omawarisan says:

      Oooh the Stooge link is tough. I’m glad your last name isn’t Fine. That would be distracting.

      Why do I remember the Three Stooges last names when I can’t remember the names of people I actually have met.

  5. Betty says:

    Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to have an alternate identity.

  6. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    You run from perky as though it’s a bad thing. I think you’re quite perky, frankly. Your writing is perky. I’ve seen your videos; they are perky. Embrace your inner perkiness, Lyn.

  7. Todd says:

    At least you were born before parents got creative with spelling. At least your name isn’t “Lynyrd,” although, come to think of it, in the South, if your name WAS spelled “Lynyrd,” that would be freakin’ awsome, man.

  8. Buy some cute shoes. I suggest Keen.

  9. bryan says:

    My name is Bryan, it is a really easy name to pronounce. However something mystical happens when I am south of Richmond. Somehow I lose a syllable (and my beloved “y”) but it takes for-EVER for someone to call me Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhnnn. Maybe people address you with a girl’s name, nut at least it isn’t roughage. In Bubba’s immortal words, “Ah…..feel….yer…pain.”

  10. Ms. PC says:

    I hope they get a dairy-free cake for Lynn! (She sounds like she might be a vegan).

  11. Everyone else said all the good stuff. I hate showing up late for the party around all these smart, funny people.

    • Part of that comment didn’t come through because I used html tags instead of brackets. I am a dunce sometimes, but then the Universe delivered the funny:

      I have a new widget that shows posts I like in my side frame. Since I liked this post and clicked the button to express that, it shows up on my page as, “I’m Not Perky But She Is On Blurt”.

  12. Debbie says:

    As one who also dislikes her name, I’m feeling for you. “Debbie”, like “Lynn”, is a perky cheerleader who wears cute shoes. And spends way too much time keeping up with the Kardashians. Have you tried “Leo,” or would that be worse?

  13. Linda Sand says:

    My name is Linda. A friend of the same name shortened hers to become Lin. Go ahead, try to get someone to spell that one right. I think you have better odds.

  14. Been there…done that. Thanks for inadvertantly bringing up a funny story from my college days. Now if I can just figure how to tell it without incriminating myself…

  15. robincoyle says:

    Well, Lynn, nice to meet you. Here all this time I thought I was talking to Len.

  16. We Found Him Captain! says:

    This sounds like a rewrite of that Johnny Cash hit of yesteryear which closes with the words
    “How do you do?” “my name is Sue.”
    Let me introduce you to the name Sergio, a.k.a. Serge, Sarge, Surge, Search, (used only in West Virginia) Certs, Sernge and Churge. The best was at a military courtmartial trial in 1973 I testified for the prosecution after being summoned from the witness room via the buildings public address system. The announcement went like this: ” Will Government Agent Sturge-e-on Giang-a-gate please proceed to court room number one?”

  17. audreyhipbone says:

    In related news, I’m going to a Leonard Skennard concert tonight. Freebird!

  18. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    Ha ha. I work with a bunch of southerners now, and I used to work with Canadians. I’ll take the southerners.

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