Using the above picture for your inspiration this week.
The Best Nickname Ever …
Brown … that was my childhood friend’s nickname. I thought it was wonderful … not only the name Brown, but that she had a nickname. I never had one growing up and always wanted one.
Brown … her father gave it to her when she was a toddler. I don’t know the back story, but there was one. Only he called her Brown. That name was never used by any of her family or friends … only by her father. I don’t know if any of her siblings had nicknames, I only knew two of them and they did not. My friend was the baby of the family, so she may have been the only one.
My given name as we call a first name in the south did not lend itself to creating a nickname, yet I desperately wanted one. It was a name that really never fit a child, but it doesn’t fit an adult either. When I was about nine or ten I wanted to change my name to Antoinette and be called Toni … but that was not to be.
Unlike my friend’s father, my father always called me by both names … he grew up in the deep south and that seemed to be the way things were…especially for children. Adult women were call “Miss” along with their given name during my childhood years. A southern sign of respect for your elders.
My mother used only my given name on a daily basis. A name she found in the newspaper during her pregnancy, only using both names if I was in big trouble. That name haunted me daily. People would look at it and not be able to pronounce it. No one could ever spell it correctly, and it was never on any keychain, coffee mug, or anything that a name could be written on to personalize any item. My own grandmother never could remember my name but called me one similar that had the same first three-letters in the beginning … but it was not my name.
During my entire life, I have only run across three other people with my name… it is that different. Now, my middle name, Ann, is the most common given and middle name for little girls almost world-wide. Slightly different spellings, but always the same pronunciation.
Later in life, I became Annie. The first piece of published writing I completed used just the one word Annie as the author … and it stuck. I have used Annie for two more books, a monthly magazine column and food column because it fits me … fits me like a soft sweatshirt and well-worn jeans. I own the name and it owns me.
So … what you may ask does it have to do with the picture prompt … A Sea of Stars? There are more stars in the sky than can be counted. A Sea of Stars … the name Ann or Annie is the same throughout the world. When I look into the night sky and see that myriad of jewels, I know I belong … just like Annie belongs to the woman I have become after years of wanting a nickname and never having one.
Copyright © 2016 Annie Original Fiction
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie