Life could have been so much easier for me if my parents had either
1) given me a name they intended to call me, or
2) called me by the name they actually gave me. My name has been a big frickin' deal my entire life.
I was christened Sheila Kathryn, but did they call me Sheila? No. When I was a baby, it was Sheila Kay, but all I remember is Kathy. At the age of 9 this was changed to Kaye, and until their deaths, my mom still called me Kathy while my dad called me Kaye. I preferred Kaye, and used it until 1999, when my pen name, Steph, took over by the use of online friends who never knew Kaye. But even that began as a masculine pen name, Stephan Karl, which is what my parents had planned to name me, until I emerged from the nom de plume closet and my gender was plain for all to see. Still, all through my school years, the kids called me Kaye while the teachers called me Sheila, which, for some reason, gave the kids reason to make fun of me. WTF...
In there somewhere is Kate, which my English friends dubbed me in the late 1970s, and even that was split into Katy and Katesy by some of them. Various nicknames included Johnny, Wally, Jody, Kayeberger, Berg, and Wolfi. We won't even go into last names. I was widowed once and divorced once, so that gave me two of those, but I simplified that decades ago by sticking to my maiden name.
But nowhere in my moniker nightmare was the name Stephanie ever, ever used. So why do people insist on calling me that? I've had Nettl introduce me, "This is my partner, Steph," and the lame brain turns right around and says while they're shaking my hand, "Nice to meet you, Stephanie!"
GRRR! If someone tells me their name is Bob, I don't go and call them Robert, do I? I figure, like any polite, sane person would, that the name I am told is the name they prefer. Duh!
Last week when I called the pizza place, I made an order to be delivered and the guy says, "So this is [insert address here]?" "Yes," I replied. "Okay, Stephanie, we'll have it there in 30 minutes!"
Hey, when did I ever tell you numbnutz that my name is Stephanie!?
Lately, I'm really missing being Kaye. I've always been happy that my parents didn't give me an "ie" name (not to insult all you Debbies and Suzies out there). Well, except for Kathy, and I hated being called that for other, more personal reasons. If I'd known that "Stephanie" was going to be such an issue, I would have stuck with Kaye in the first place. It's a strong name.
Frank was the only person ever to call me Sheila. Well, and the IRS. But this name business has always been a thorn in my flesh, especially where my trolls and stalkers are concerned. They seem to think that knowing my full name gives them power over me somehow, but that borders on the nefarious to me, like something out of a novel about witches knowing one's true name and using it to cast spells.