I was reminded of the beautiful significance of nicknames the other day when I was talking to my friend Gina (Hotlips) and she told me that she named her new car after me. (so freaking happy!) The car's name is Stella, taken from my movie nickname. (That's right. I am the skunk from Over the Hedge. Everyone ahem alex laugh your laugh).
Ninety percent of the people in my life have at least one nickname for me. I can't remember all the things I have been called at this point, but I answer to a lot of stuff. Some are endearing and nostalgic, and a select few make me kind of angry, but all in all, they describe me pretty well, even the ones I don't like very much. And I really like nicknames, because of the way they define and describe the relationships I have. But even better than individual nicknames, I really like group nicknames. A prime example of this fabulous thing is Papa Murphy's.
There in pizzaland, we have multiple sets of group nicknames. The first originated in what we fondly call "the mash days", which was way back when like three years ago when I worked there in high school and everybody else went to Murray High School and I was the odd one out with my Warriorness. We all had a name from MASH, which somehow perfectly described the group dynamic.
The coolest people ever are as follows:
Hawkeye: Everybody's favorite talented doctor. In this case, Christian was the ringleader and also the fastest sauce and cheeser. He was in charge of naming everybody else, and also the mastermind of the pranking. There was a lot of pranking.
BJ: Rusty. The goofy one who plays along with the pranks and is likeable in general.
Trapper: Alex. The one who is kind of annoying at times, but wins over respect anyway because of his brilliant pranking skills and quick witted humor.
Spearthrower: Curtis. The best friend who used to work there and some of the old hardcore workers even remember him.
Charles: Me. The one who is sort of the outsider but oddly seems to fit in both groups anyway. Both pranks and is pranked. English accent.
Hotlips: Gina. The one who is really good at her job which attracts some flack from all the other ones. Always pranked.
Henry: Kevin. The bossman. ( He wanted to call me Radar. so complimentary!)
Thank goodness we didn't have a Frank.
I love the concept of names that describe a personality or a relationship or a group dynamic. I love the evolution of such things, and how the same nickname can have different connotation from different people. Like how my brother's friend Dallas used to call me Amelia Bedelia and it made me really mad, but here ten years later, my friend Josh calls me Amelia Bedelia and I am rather fond of it. Or how my niece doesn't even call me by name anymore; I walk in a room and she shouts "Little!", and no one else in the world would do that. Or how Nate and I are Lucy and Ethel but we don't remember who is who so Lucy is whoever is leading the escapades and the one questioning the wisdom of our current course of action is Ethel.
Once upon a time in my Religious Studies class, we learned about different definitions of religion. And the only one I can remember is " a tool for orienting oneself in the universe." If this is true, I suppose I love nicknames in a quasi-religious manner, cause I think that is what they do for me.
Insane? sure. I'll own it.