You want to know a secret?
Too bad. I’m telling you anyways.
I hated my name growing up. I mean I really, really hated my name. Who names their kid, “Mr”, anyways? Well, by now you must know my first name is not really, “Mr.”, “dear sir” or any other salutation.
While I was growing up, “Wayne” was a name reserved for cowboys, hockey players and Englishmen (it does make sense as the name does have English origins).
Somewhat surprisingly, I didn’t get made fun of my name. That is, with the exception of a troubled older teacher who got her kicks calling me “Wayne The Pain” (not that I hold a grudge or anything) and a pig-tailed spectacled girl who used to call me, “Waaaaaayyyyynnnneeee.” I still get shivers when I think of her. Mike Meyers had nothing on her.
Kids thrive on targeting other kids for anything that is unusual. I was always the only kid in my class, and, later, in high school, with the name and kids love to target other children for being different. The interesting thing is I never heard any jokes about my name until high school when someone noticed it was such a “country name”. Thank you? But, I found a way around that too.
Everyone knows the remedy to ridicule is humor. The fact I made my bones being the class clown and a general malcontent helped me become accepted. In fact, I earned the nickname, “Killer” (no, that’s not a typo). We all knew one growing up I suppose. This became my moniker and a facade for me to hide behind. Fear not, I was about as much of a “killer” as “Doctor Dre” is a physician.
“Brian”, “Scott”, “Stephen”, “Dave”, why couldn’t my parents have picked a common, accepted name like that? It made me even more incredulous when I learned I was almost named, “Kevin” or “Sean”. You know a “normal name.” The answer is I am a “jr”. So it was a family name. Why do we do that? Have we become that unoriginal? I love my dad and I’m glad to share his name (now). But, I’d love him just as much if he named me, “Melvin” or “Mark” or any other name for that matter. It’s just a name and that is when I finally had my “aha moment.” A name is just a name.
My name would actually become “cool” or mainstream as I got older in large part due to the popularity of “Wayne’s World”, Wayne Gretzky and, of course how could I forget, Lil’ Wayne.
It’s funny how we assign descriptions to names. “Heather” or “Olga” are considered pretty by many people. OK, I was joking. No one likes the name “Heather.” This, I suspect, is based on how a name sounds and who we think of when we hear a name. It’s why you don’t see a lot of Voldemorts running around. Oops.
I think it’s fairly common for children to dislike certain things about themselves, many things which they had no control over to begin with. Hair color, freckles, height (or lack thereof). These are all things kids can do little, if anything, to change. At least you can change your name. Or, hope you get a cool nickname.