Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A rose by any other name

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her very young (not THAT young) mother wanted to name her Elizabeth and call her Lisa. Alas, the mother couldn't think of a middle name she liked to go with Elizabeth and so she named her Mary Elizabeth . . . and still called her Lisa. This small girl turned five and went to kindergarten where her teach Miss Thomas had made two name tags.

"What do you like to be called?" she asked. "I have made two name tags. One says Mary and the other Lisa. You may choose."

Well, the small girl, in fact, had no idea her name was actually Mary and being the slightly over dramatic only child that she was, she chose her new name -- her secret name -- Mary.

The problem was the entire world called her Lisa and so the girl's mother strung them together and she became Mary Lisa. Well, sort of. The kids in school just called her Mary which she came to hate almost immediately but was too shy or loving or sensitive to insist that she be called Lisa or Mary Lisa. So to this day some people in her world call her Mary and some call her Lisa and -- which is fine, EXCEPT Lisa isn't actually her name, now is it? This remains a problem and so she now insists on being called Mary Lisa or just Lisa -- except to those school friends who cannot bear it and she still lets them call her Mary . . . even though she now looks around for her mother, who is also named Mary, by the way.


Imagine being that poor child. Imagine being that poor child who at 39.5 cannot decide how to spell it. Mary Lisa? MaryLisa? Marylisa? And, yet . . . still . . . that's not legally her name, is it?

I admit I am that small girl. I was at a party the other night for a school friend and was going to introduce myself to a fellow guest when suddenly I sort of blacked out. It's been so long since I actually introduced myself as Mary, I had this terrible moment of "Where am I? Who am I?" I am sure I could have said, "Hi, I'm Marylisa" like I do normally. I don't know what happened.

I cannot wait for Jesus to tell me my true name. I am going to get all my clothes monogrammed.


  1. Should have known, too, what with the John Richard thing

  2. MaryLisaElizabeth!
    I love your name(s) all smooshed together, living in harmony,
    3 in 1...a trinity of names of sorts...each one simple on its own yet so much more interesting as a complex unit
    (much like their owner, MaryLisaElizabeth)!