Monday, February 23, 2009

You know what? Mel's just fine.

My mom used to call me Milly. I've never heard anyone else get that out of "Melanie", but she loved it.

I did not.

I thought it was the worst. nickname. ever.

I was wrong. The worst one would come much later.

But in the meantime, my mom would stand at the front door and call, "Milly!" when she wanted me to come in, and wrote "Milly" on the chore charts. That everyone saw when they came over. Grr. I begged her not to do it, but she liked it and that's what she called me.

Fast forward like, twenty-ish years. Some friends and I are crammed together in a car, wailing along with the Steve Miller Band classic, "The Pompitous of Love." The line come up, "I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree", and my friend Jen asks, "What does that mean?" I don't know if she asked this because she was blonde or because she was sheltered, but the question cracked the rest of us up. When our friend Jaime could draw a breath she said, "Peaches are your boobs, Jen."

"Oh...! Wait. I don't have peaches. Jaime has peaches. I have melons."

More hysterical giggling, because we were all in our late twenties and very mature professionals.

"Wait, wait!" Jen gasps. "If I'm melons and you're peaches, then what's Melanie?"

Now, let me just interrupt to say that I am not...uh...I don't have

The boys in the 'hood growing up called me C.P., for Coastal Plains.

Jaime hollered, "I got it! Melanie's got kumquats!"

More hooting. "That's what we should call her! Kumquats!"

I sniff.

"Oh, does that bother you? How about if we call you Princess Kumquat?"

And my answer doesn't really matter because that's what they called me. That's how my name showed up in their cell phones, in emails, etc.

But at least the damage was somewhat contained to the our squished little posse in the car.

I thought.

Until I was walking out to my car in the staff parking lot of the middle school where I taught and Jen's mom, one of the PE teachers drove by. She slowed, rolled the window down on the BMW and called, "How's it going, Princess Kumquat?"

Three other teachers en route to their cars stopped, turned, and stared.

It's going great, Lorraine.

Just great.


Kazzy said...

Yipes. Yeah, I choose Milly. :)

Annette Lyon said...


"Mel" is much preferred, no doubt. That's what my sister goes as--which made for interesting situations when she had boys calling the house asking for "Mel."

My dad (Melvin) would answer, "Speaking."

"Um . . . I meant the girl . . ."

Chris said...

If it helps you feel better, my nickname in our neighborhood when I was TWELVE was "Wet One."

Just as horrible as it sounds.

I feel your pain.

Kristina P. said...

My family nickname is Tina. I always hated it. Some members of my family can get away with it, but my SIL still calls me that, and even 6 years later, since she's been married to my brother, it still bugs me.

Sara@i.Sass said...

Mother calls me Petunia.
I got Muppet in JR. high.
Kisses. (as in hershey) because of a similar situation to yours.

Melanie said...

I just frightened the poor children with braying donkey laughter - I hope you're happy.

People called me Melmac for years, but when Alf went off the air I could go back to being Melly.

CaJoh said...

I'm sure you have other nicknames that have as interesting a story as this but you love as a name. I admit that having 65 plus is rather flattering but most are like yours in that they are derogatory.

Becky said...

Ugh. Sorry 'bout the lousy nicknames. We have an Amelia but we call her Millie.

Josi said...

For about $3500 you can get those kumquats magically transformed into melons--nice firm ones. Milly makes me think of seven brides for seven brother--I bet they never nicknamed their friends like that back then.

Debbie said...

I'll take my natural kumquats any day over fake melons. However, I don't think I'd enjoy the nickname any more than you.

That Girl in Brazil said...

I'll just go by Princess Pancake, I guess - does it have to be a fruit?

"Mel" means honey in Portuguese - we'll stick with that, shall we?

Chaka said...

I just wanted you to know that blogger started messing up today on the followers of my blog and on those I follow. I'm not showing as a follower on your blog but it says I am. I don't know what's going on, but I just didn't want you to think that all the melon talk offended me and I unsubscribed.

Heather of the EO said...

You do realize that I'll always have to think of your nickname now, every time I see Melanie J? Too funny, you poor thing.

I have kumquats too. Just sayin'

Kimberly said...

My mum called me Kimmy-Coo.

Luisa Perkins said...

So excellent.

Eowyn said...

Um, yeah, I'll take Mel too.

Although I have to admit to finding this post more than hilarious.

My most hated? Dum-Dum--which will probably make absolutely no sense to you. :)