Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mars & Venus

It was sometime around the second grade when it became known that my middle name is Noël. Not knoll, like Noel Coward. But Nowell. Like Christmas. Only French.

And even though there wasn’t a single eight-year old among us who could speak a foreign language, much less recognize one on paper (we just figured those were words we didn’t know yet), from the moment Mrs. Parker got called out of class, and Scott, who was well on his way to being Most Likely To End Up On America’s Most Wanted, ran to her desk, snatched the class roster, and scanned the list for embarrassing middle names to make fun of, life as I knew it would never be the same.

Recess, which once consisted of much anticipated cartwheel competitions, now became mini marathons, as I did my best to flee the surly band of thugs, armed with the lyrics of “The First Noël” that they sang at the top of their lungs. And it took me two full days to discover the one place, (besides the principal’s office), that none of them would willing enter.

But after nearly a week of being camped out in the girl’s bathroom, while my friends all progressed from cartwheels to back hand springs, I finally emerged, sweaty and defeated, head bowed in shame, as they descended upon me, harmonizing together in a lofty, prepubescent soprano.

“Why do they do it?” I wailed, looking to my mother for insight, while knowing that she alone was completely to blame, for giving me such an awful, horrible middle name.

But she just shook her head as she sat down beside me. And after pouring me some milk and passing me a cookie, she told me the scariest, most confusing thing I’ve heard to this day. “That’s what boys do when they like you,” she said, nodding as though it made sense.


Trish Ryan said...

Perspective really is many of us, now that we're adults, would LOVE to walk out the door to be greeted by a testosterone serenade of Christmas carols???

It might not be romantic...but at least it would be funny :)

Dana Diamond said...

LOL. That was so cute.

For the record, I've always loved the name Noel. And that was sweet about your mom. Too cute.

I also love that you're having the last laugh when it comes to your name. Here, you were teased as a child and now look at you. Now that it's on all your books, let's see them tease you now!

:) d