My Name

My name is Charlene. My nickname is Char. I’m not sure what my name represents or stands for as far as a definite meaning. I remember asking my mother why she named me Charlene and she said that the nurse that helped her deliver me had that name and so that is why she named me Charlene. I have been called many names in my lifetime of sixty years. Everything from Charlotte to Charmain which I found very annoying at times. I’ve been told my name is “old fashioned”. I’ve also been told that it was an uncommon name. But anyways after sixty years of having this name, I have definitely grown used to it, no matter what its meaning may be.

My middle name is Elizabeth and that was given to me because that was my grandmother’s middle name too. I had no problem with that but never really was interested in being called Liz or Lizzie etc. for a nickname.

I think the only time my name seemed to be an embarrassment for me is when I was in school like middle school, grades 6,7 and 8. Because when we went back to school starting a new grade, we were asked to tell the other classmates what our name was. The problem within myself didn’t come from doing that as much as it did from answering the teacher’s specific questions. Also my maiden name was Swain. So when the teacher asked me what is your name” instead of saying outright Charlene Elizabeth Swain, because Swain rhymed with name and for some reason I was embarrassed by the whole idea of what is your name and me answering Charlene Elizabeth Swain. So after that it became a habit for me to answer with hesitation from that day on. So when I was asked what is your name, I would answer Charlene Elizabeth and then wait for her to ask me what my last name was. Then I would respond and say Swain.

So getting married finally put a damper on that issue for awhile until people periodically got my last name messed up. But being a little more mature and older and less caring about little things like that at this stage of my life reminds me that what we find to be so important for us as children has a tendency to not be as important to us when we are older.

Names can mean many things. My name is the name I‘ve grown used to and have responded to when needed. Although it is a “not so famous” or an uncommon name as some people may say, I think I’ll keep it because I figure it could have been alot worse in many ways. I mean my mother could have name me Gertrude or Nellie or something really old fashioned.

So I’ll just be thankful for my name that I have and try to be a little less bent on what others think.