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Called by Name, Known by Heart

My mom says she named my brother and me after a 1950s movie starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, called Pat and Mike.

While I never liked my name, it didn’t take me long to realize how many variations exist. When I was little, my mom would sometimes call me Patty Ann (because I swear there must be a law that says all Patricias must have Ann as their middle name,) or Peppermint Patty. Much of the time, people called me Pat.

I tried to like the name, I really did. It just never fit.

To this day, when I introduce myself as Patricia people often answer, Hi, Pat! Or Patty. Or Trish. Or Tricia. Or whatever variation is most familiar to them. (I confess my petty side wants to reciprocate. Mike, is it? Hi, Mikey. Susan, you said? Nice to meet you, Sue.)

I have a standard answer to a question I’m often asked—Do people call you “Pat”?

I smile and say, “Only once.”

I suppose it’s only mildly less passive-aggressive.

Because I’ve always been intentional about my first name, it’s no surprise to me that I felt equally deliberate about my last name. I wrote about that at The Perrenial Gen.

I was never the little girl who fashioned a veil out of a pillowcase to play bride. I wasn’t one to develop a folder with details of the perfect wedding, complete with swatches and color palettes. Sure, I wanted to get married, but I didn’t obsess over it, I simply worked the plan. High school, college, meet cute, wedding, baby, 30th birthday.

It was a great strategy, but like so many plans made by me rather than by God, it didn’t happen in the time-frame I’d envisioned. Part of it didn’t happen at all. Continue reading…


Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

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