I used to fake a friend’s name in middle school. I did. To clarify, I faked his name in writing. I didn’t know how it was spelled, and I never worked up a way to find out (and to remember) how to write it.
Traditionally, I always wrote people’s names clearly. Sure, my handwriting was sloppy and small and almost always in cursive. However, I took the time to write people’s names, oftentimes in print, and much better than my standard note-taking, squinty script. So, when it came to this one friend’s name, I faked a sloppiness that was not my own.
See, regularly, when he wrote his own name, he connected the last two letters together somewhat, making it unclear as to whether it was a hurried -an or -on at the end of his name. It was a somewhat irregular name, and so I had no basis for comparison. Plus, the pronunciation didn’t help – there were plenty of foreign-like names that had an -an sound like a US English -on. (Take Han Solo for example.) To top it off, the first note he gave me, whenever he signed his name, I couldn’t tell which way his name was spelled. And, since I saw it that way first, that was what stuck.
I had heard how people spelled his name wrong all the time, and I had seen it spelled by others both ways. I was not about to make that same mistake. Therefore, I just threw in a stab of – and I say stab casually, but it truly was painful for me – sloppiness whenever I wrote his name in particular, and no one ever had to find out.
(Until now, of course, but that is beside the point. These sorts of things mattered among young people learning to become friends in middle school.)
It was kind of funny, really, remembering all of this tonight. It all came to me, because of something similar about slightly illegible writing, but, because it was from middle school, I ended up with the song “sk8r boi” by Avril Lavigne in my head (a middle school hit). As I thought about the song, I happened to notice how my middle school was somewhat the reverse of the “sk8r boi” scenario. The nerd-esque boy in the ever-present UT jacket that seemed to conceal any shirt he ever wore – oops… I digress – now, he seemed to want me (and everyone knew it). I semi-wanted him, but I declined because he was not the cool kid, so to speak; he didn’t have the skater boy edge to go along with his book brains. (I didn’t actually like the skater boys at my school either, but my brothers roller skated and skate boarded a little, and their general coolness was my standard for what was needed in a desirable guy [and still is], in addition to brains.)
I somewhat cared about what all my friends thought about him, but that totally wasn’t my reasoning. I just didn’t actually have a crush on the guy. We were classmates, and I had a blast going back and forth in contest with him over having the highest grade in class (math class for sure, I remember). But he didn’t have what I desired – he was just a half package, so to speak, not the whole thing. Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve felt about most any guy I’ve known. Perhaps that’s part of why I’ve never really been in any kind of dating relationship – I’m only looking for the whole package. Anything less is fine for a friend or acquaintance, but not for dating.
huh… not quite where I expected this thought line to go tonight… 😛