Sunday, July 02, 2006

That Name Thing

I found out I'm supposed to say it's raining in Seattle. It always rains in Seattle. (I'm not allowed to say that it is actually sunny and beautiful. I will say, there isn't much air conditioning in this city.)

Clarion week was great. The students were fabulous. With a name like 'Maureen McHugh' I am not particularly used to being somewhere where someone else has my name. I have met a few Maureens. Not so many. I don't know if I've ever met a McHugh I wasn't related to. So when someone says either Maureen or McHugh, my head turns. Bob is used to hearing his name. Even his last name--Yeager--is not so unusual, although it turns out there are a couple of spelling variations. I am under the impression that a lot of people have, you know, shared their name.

Not me.

So imagine my surprise when there were two people in a Clarion class of 18 with the last name of 'McHugh'. And to add, one of them was named 'Maura.' Maura is to Maureen as William is to Willy. Maura McHugh is from Ireland. And Ian McHugh is from Australia. (This week's instructor at Clarion West is Ian R. MacLeod, so Ian McHugh will continue to sow confusion.)

So how do you people with common names, like BOB, manage? I mean, I could get whiplash.

(At Mary Kay Kare's house, for a party on Friday, there were nametags and a sharpie. I was standing talking to Nisi Shawl and Maura handed me a name tag. I put it on and then discovered that it said, 'Alpha McHugh.' Maura's said 'Beta McHugh'--she explained she was in testing--and Ian's said 'Omega McHugh'. All night long people kept referring to me as 'Alpha.' At least there wasn't another Alpha in the room...)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maureen--alpha!
I met Ian McHugh in Canberra at Conflux last month so am looking forward to seeing him again in a couple of weeks.
Ellen (the real one)

July 02, 2006 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lawrence Morrison, In high School the local french club hosted a bike race, called the tour de Chagrin. President of the French club was Larry Meyer, honorary president was radio personality Larry Morrow, and I was in charge of the checkpoint judges. Even yelling Larry M' couldn't help. It was an intense day of mass identity confusion, the phrase WHICH LARRY? became an integral part of the day. I understand what you're going through. Add to that that the name Morrison is becoming the Scottish equivalent of Smith. I meet about two new Morrison's a month!! Appreciate your rare name, and enjoy the fact that this doesn't happen that often to you.

love lawrence

July 03, 2006 1:40 AM  
Blogger Darby M. Dixon III said...

I share my name with more dogs than people.

Which is okay, because, I mean, dogs. They're awesome.

July 03, 2006 1:59 AM  
Blogger SquidgePa said...

In second grade, we had three Toms in my class. We had to write a last initial on every paper we turned in.

You get used to it after a while.

One thing that I will never get used to is being at a crowded event, and having a young girl shout out "DAD!"; that gets me every time.


July 03, 2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger Beth Adele said...

I once had a huge mixup with a debit card because the mailman was delivering my mail to the Beth Long downstairs from me rather than the Beth Long to whom it was addressed.

Hence my obsessive use of my middle name. At least "Adele" is distinctive.

My only sibling with a common middle name has a somewhat distinctive first name. The others' middle names are Mauve (yes, Mauve), Renwick (after a Scottish Presbyterian martyr, no less), and Steele (which is the coolest middle name of the lot and probably is the reason John wants to be a writer).

I don't so much mind the commonness of "Long" anymore, though I've always mildly resented the way it pimps itself out to bad punsters.

July 03, 2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found out there's a Playboy model named Carrie Vaughn. It hasn't caused problems yet...but I'm sort of interested to see what problems it might cause...

Carrie V. The writer, not the other one.

July 03, 2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Ellen, they're a really good crew this year. I was pleased and impressed. Shawn let me trail along when I caught him sneaking out to see Superman. Caroline made everybody sangria. They'll take good care of you.

Darby, I always thought of you as kind of dog-like. But coming from me, that's kind of a compliment.

Carrie, that would be...weird. They were selling books at the reading I did last Tuesday and one of them was yours.

July 03, 2006 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I'm looking forward to it. I had dinner with Nalo last week and she's there the week before me.

July 04, 2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger meredith said...

Having grown up with both a rare first and last name, I still get whiplash every time I run into another Meredith. It's happening more and more (apparently my name is a lot more common in my generation than I ever knew, but I'm only just running into the others now), but I don't think I'll ever get used to it.

July 04, 2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can imagine how confusing it was to be at a construction site and there was another first name Levin. Constant confusion the whole time I was out there.

Levin Jr was home for the 4th and it was constant confusion there also. Some how we have gotten out of practice know which Levin was Levin when someone called us.

Of course I don't worry about Armwood's. If they are an Armwood, they are related.


July 06, 2006 10:35 PM  

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