When discussing the kiss from Blossom with a friend that friend offered up how she doesn’t just hand out kisses to any Tom, Dick or Harry. For her kissing is a very intimate thing; it’s not something she does with out strong emotions. She said it’s a very personal thing for her. I’ve heard people say that kissing is very personal and that they don’t just lock lips with anyone. I guess what’s on my mind is the act of withholding a part of oneself until a certain level of intimacy or standards have been met. I do this, not with kissing but with trust, specifically when trusting people with my real name. It is helpful to have a nickname because it means I can give people that name when they ask me for one. When meeting people for the first time I tell them everyone calls me Duckie. I sometimes get a chuckle but I just come back with, “My family has been calling me that since I was a baby. You know families.” Inquiry usually drops right there. The nickname comes in handy quite often. Duckie is spelled with an “ie” and not a “y”. I don’t remember the reasoning behind the change in spelling I just know there was one when I did it.
I really need to have a genuine respect for someone and a certain level of trust to tell them my legal name. I guess for me the name I hold means a lot. It means enough to me that I don’t just pass that “token” to anyone who asks for it? I’m sure that sounds odd, to withhold my name because it is too personal of a thing to just throw around carelessly. Is a name just a generic form of identification so that when someone is talking to us everyone else knows it’s not their turn to be griped at? Is it just a tag to make sure we don’t get mixed up with the next guy or is it something more personal than that?
When I was younger the mother use to say to me, “You’re an X you can do anything.” What does that mean? It means I come from a name, a name that is something to be proud of because with that name comes the ability to succeed. While I never believed I could do anything because I was a part of that family, I did come to understand that the main point. What separated me from others was the name X. Say my last name was Krupp, according to that family the name Krupp set me apart from others while giving me a sense of belonging with those who shared the name Krupp. This goes back to my theory that people don’t just choose a name out of a hat and then name their kid. It’s usually well thought out, has some significance to lineage or something close to the parent’s heart or belief system. A name starts off with a lot of thought and has “great things” attached to it so why is it so easy to pass out that right of passage to everyone who asks for it?
I know that some will not agree that a name is so important that it is only given to those you trust and not to strangers as some socially polite response. But I now believe the underlying message my family tried to get across to me, “The name Krupp sets me apart from others while giving me a sense of belonging….” A sense of belonging, a sense of pride and dignity were attached to those who bore the name Krupp. It’s strange how one phrase growing up would make such a difference in how I answer one simple question, “what is your name?”
Who do I belong to? What tight knit circle am I in? What pride and dignity do I hold because of that name? When I think of it in those terms the name I have now isn’t something I want to just offer up to anyone who asks. Those are very personal questions; they’re questions that only get an answer when I feel I can trust a person. It’s not that my legal name is something spectacular, it’s just something personal, and like kissing, I don’t just lock “names” with anyone.
When I changed my name from that “Krupp” horror did I also change the reason for being proud and the reason for holding my head up with dignity and respect? When I changed my name from that demoralizing “Krupp” did I change “who I identify with” or who is in my tight knit circle? You better believe it did! By changing my name (which was done with great thought) I also chose to abandon the belief systems they held. When changing my name I denounced them as a whole saying that they were wrong for what they did and the name “X” only signified a group of pedophiles and hate filled monsters.
The family said that having their name made me one of them, it made me special and that I could do anything I wanted to do. As an adult, not bearing that name means I’m not one of them and that I am set apart from all of what they did and all of what they have no remorse for doing. For me, the most precious thing I hold is my name. It is precious because it means freedom; it means separation from the X’s. It means I get to pick and choose instead of following like a sheep to the slaughter. I do not hand it out at every turn the same as D* doesn’t go up to every Tom, Dick and Harry to plant one on their lips. What these two examples have in common is comfort level, trust and connection. Before D* will kiss someone and before I will give a person my real name there has to be a connection. Those with whom I have no connection simply call me Duckie.
I think some of this has been on my mind since my birthday is coming up. I can not believe I’m going to be 35 years old. It seems like yesterday I was 8 years old standing on the porch looking out across the field watching that 4 o’clock train crawl slowly by. I did not ever expect to be alive to see even age 10 let alone 15 or 20. But soon I’ll be 35 years old and I’m quite sure I’m still alive. I may have been born August of 1971 but I didn’t start living until February of 1992. In a spiritual sense that makes me 14 years old. Life has just begun for me.
Trust and Reaching Out, Living – Saturday, August 12, 2006-1:53 AM EST