Call Me John

I have an unusual and difficult first name. My parents were going through an Afrocentric phase and decided to hand me something that even fellow Gikuyu have trouble pronouncing, let along believing is real. One of my sister’s friends insisted my name couldn’t exist.

Over the years, I have resisted attempts to shorten my name to something manageable. I do not like nicknames. I’d be very tickled were someone to start calling me “buddy.” Only for the first two minutes, mind. Then I’d stop responding. (There have been failed nickname attempts.)


I am beaten down. I am tired. I don’t know what to say to peers and colleagues who respond to emails I have sent, in which I sign my name, and who subsequently misspell either my first or last name—I’m still waiting for the person who will misspell both.

One could say many things about what this means.

But I’m tired.

The universe wins.

Just call me John.

4 thoughts on “Call Me John

  1. Tucking the nickname “Kegs” away, somewhere deep in the invaginations (you gotta love this word) of my brain. Filing it under “never to be deployed” or “failure to launch”.

    John it is!

  2. OK, I will call you John, but if you call me Mary I will have to kill you. Got that?

    Take it from a girl with a name that is unusual but not especially “exotic”: People just aren’t paying very close attention.

    I’m tired, too. Go ahead and call me Mary — Or, wait, no: Roxie!

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