Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Journal in a Jar 01.17.10 ~ the Name Game

What is your full name and who were you named for? How do you feel about that name?

(this post is an updated/edited version of a previous post)

My mom is an opera singer. She has the most beautiful soprano voice...anyway, her favorite singer is Risë Stevens. Now, Rise Stevens spells her name R-I-S-E with umlautmark over the E. Apparently, my mom found that to be much too pretentious, so she changed the spelling to HER liking ~ R-I-S-S-A.

The double S gets me the "Riss-uh" pronunciation instead of the correct "Ree-sah" pronunciation. Anymore, I don't correct people. I've worked with this woman named Gloria for 8 years and she still calls me Riss-uh. .

I never gave my name much thought, really...until I got a new bike around 4th or 5th grade. Every kid in the neighborhood got bikes ~ Susan, Tracy, Mary, Sara, Jimmy, Kevin, Brian, Lisa, Ricky. They all got new bikes with blue & yellow license plates bearing their names! Yep. Every last one of them had their names on a license plate. When I asked my parents for a license plate with *my* name, Mom had to gently explain there wasn't one. I was having NONE of it. She had to be lying. Somewhere there had to be a shiny blue & yellow license plate with my name on it. There just *had* to be! That became my quest, my obsession - find a mug, a magnet, a
something with my name on it! In 7th grade, I actually wanted to change my name. It never really caught on

For my birthday that year, Mom gave me personalized pencils ordered from the Lillian Vernon catalog. Yeah, it was kinda cool to have pencils with my name. It didn't make up for the lack of that blue and yellow license plate for my bike. But it was cool nonetheless.

And thus began my Mom's 'signature' gift - personalized [fill-in the blank] ~ towels, bathrobes, blankets, gym bags, coffee cups, luggage, sweatshirts, back packs, car mats, car seat covers, door mats, wine carafes, wine glasses, wine. I've got personalized everything!

I've met 3 other Risa's ~ one was a friend of my Mom's, another was a classmate (and later a AST sister) at Cal State Northridge and one who works with me at Warner Bros.

I'm totally fine with my name now. Though, I never got one of those license plates...

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