The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

What's In a Name?

It's amazing how some names really evoke certain emotions. I love my name. In Gaelic, Shannon means "wise one." I'm not always sure if that holds true, but I like to think it is. The spelling of my name is an interesting story. I was adopted. My mom had lost two unborn babies and my parents decided it would be best to adopt. They put as their preference "First Available." They were originally told a baby boy was going to be available, so they thought of boy names and came up with Gavin. When they went down to Children's Home Society on their appointed day, they were told that the boy had become ill and would not be up for adoption for a few weeks, however they did have a little girl (me!) ready to go home. My parents were sent off to go to lunch while the paperwork was completed.

Since it was lunch time, my parents decided to grab a bite to eat at a well-known Mexican place called El Cholo. Over a few margaritas, my parents tried to come up with a girl's name. They wanted something that honored my soon-to-be father's Irish heritage and came up with two -- Erin Elizabeth or Shannon Michele. My mom is an artist, and therefore a visual person, so she started to doodle the names along with Gavin. Because of the "i" in Gavin, she started spelling Shannon as Shannin and that's how I came to be named Shannin Michele.

Growing up, I never loved my name -- it was always spelled wrong and it wasn't "cute" and I could never have a nickname (Tina from Christina, Patty from Patricia, Shelly from Michelle). Of course, now that I'm older, I appreciate the fact that Shannon/Shannin will never be one of the top 10 names -- heck, Shannon was considered a boy's name for most of the 60s. I became very posessive of my name. I loved the fact no one shared my name -- at least the spelling.

Which brings me to my last Leadership Meeting last week. I knew we had hired a leader at one of our on-sites and her name was Shannon, but I had yet to meet her -- until last Thursday. When we did finally meet face-to-face, she said, "Oh, so you're the OTHER Shannin." What do you mean, the OTHER Shannin???? Hey, when it comes to this group, I am THE Shannin! See what I mean about becoming posessive? Oh well, at least I spell it different!

The other funny thing about names, are the images that they can conjure up. In the end, when my mom did finally get pregnant, she had a boy who she named Gavin (their original name). I don't know too many Gavins, but my best friend's cousin is named Gavin. We "hooked up" in college, but it was a very short-lived relationship. I finally confessesd to my friend I just couldn't imagine lying in bed saying, "Ohhh, Gavin....yes, harder....." Just too weird.....

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