Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Funny Name Situations

I think stuff like this is interesting.

So for work I have to set up an account with this online service that deals with all the employee's requests for vacations, time away from the office, that kind of thing. You have to set a security question, as with most online services, and there are a multitude of different questions, all designed to only have one answer that you can call to mind easily.

The problem is, for me, only one of these questions has a clear, single answer.

Let's go through them, shall we?

Q: "1. What was the last name of your childhood best friend?"

A: Demers, Gentile, Hall, Rose, Walls, Wicks are all perfectly acceptable answers, written in random order so as not to anger anyone. So that's not a very good question. Let's move on.

Q: "2. What was the first name of your best man at your wedding?"

A: Wedding hasn't happened yet. Plus I'm an only child, so it's kind of a battle between the aforementioned best friends. Let's not dwell on that.

Q: "3. What was the first name of your maid of honor at your wedding?"

A: Does not apply for two reasons. You figure it out.

Q: "4. What was the first name of your first college roommate?"

A: I had a lovely time in my triple with Sam and Jared. So this doesn't have a single, easy answer either.

Q: "5. What is your maternal grandmother's first name?"

A: Funny story, actually. She was born Rubydene Hudgens, down in the heart of Joe-juh (that's Georgia for you Northerners) with her sister Ernestine. When she moved up here, she decided to drop the "Ruby" (like many a Boston College sophomore when faced with a campus policeman) and just become "Dene." So, again, no easy answer there. Moving on.

Q: "6. What is your paternal grandmother's first name?"

A: Come to think of it, I don't know. For as long as I can remember, I've called her "Nana." My mom calls her "Dad's mother," and my dad calls her "Nana" or "mom." Now, I obviously know her name, but that doesn't help much either. It's Betty. And yes, Betty is PROBABLY short for "Elizabeth." But it might not be! She's like 95 years old, I don't know what kinds of crazy names parents were giving their children back in 1920, especially immigrant parents from Sweden who were soon to abandon their child altogether and leave her to grow up in various foster homes and orphanages. Could be Bettiane. Could be Bettinski. Could just be Betty. The world may never know.

Q: "7. What is your paternal grandfather's first name?"

A: This is the easy one. It's George. The funny part? I've never met him. He died when my dad (now 69 years old) was about 20.

Q: "8. What is your mother's middle name?"

A: Another interesting story. My mom's original name was Cynthia Lee White. Lee was in homage to General Robert E. Lee, the great Confederate general. Remember how I said my maternal grandmother was from Georgia? Yeah. But then when my mom married my dad, she sort of dropped the Lee, shunted the White over a bit, and changed her middle name. Sort of. Like, on her social security card I think it says Cynthia White Vogel. But in the phone book I think she's Cynthia L. Vogel. And then other places I've seen her still go by her maiden name altogether. There's no rhyme or reason on that front.

Names are silly. I'll just go with Question 7: George.