Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Was It Juliet or Mick That Really Got It?

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet..."
-Juliet, Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

"Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name."
-Sympathy For The Devil, The Rolling Stones

My great grandfather was a 'Mac.' My father was a 'Chez,' rhymes with 'says' or 'Pez.' 'Chez' is the second syllable of my last name. Mc*Ches*ney. I have the Mc/Mac and the Chez in my name. Therefore, I have adopted both nick names. I relate and respond to both. Though my family still calls out Heather, I have rarely been referred to by friends as simply Heather since the age of 12.

When entering junior high school, it became apparent that there were several parents in the 70's that LURVED to name their daughters Heather. It was a popular name. It was the 53rd most used name in the United States in 1990. There were quite a few of us that went to school at John Adams Junior High School in Charleston, WV. In short, there were Heathers out the ass, and we all became friends. It became confusing and during a time when personal identity is utterly important, I felt lost in the Heathers. While some of the Heathers kept the Heather, others became HBs and initials, and I became as my father before me...Chez. I have remained Chez for the most part with the exception of a few years that I spent bar tending in an Irish Pub in Morgantown, WV.

McClafferty's Irish Pub in Morgantown is a home away from home. It is a Cheers of Motown. Some of my most favorite people patronize McClafferty's. It was here that the owner decided that his Scotch-Irish bartender would become Heather Mac. It caught on. Even today when visiting my former watering hole, I'm still referred to as Heather Mac. It's like your favorite sweatshirt, you can't wear it all of the time, but it sure does feel good to wear every once in a while.

With all of this said, I must tell you that I prefer not to be introduced to new people using any other name but Heather. Having just met, I prefer not to instantly assume that we will have that much familiarity from the get go. This is something that I have had to stress with friends when they are providing new introductions to acquaintances. However, with time, when it becomes natural, Chez is exceptionally appropriate and normally preferred. I handle my students in the same way. I introduce myself as Ms. McChesney; eventually current students mimic the familiarity of former students. They are also my *Macaronis. My friends are definitely my Macaronis.

Though I identify with my name and my nicknames, I believe that Juliet was maybe on to something. It's not necessarily what you call someone or something; it's more about who or what that person or thing REALLY is. To me, each name represents a specific time and location in my life. However, Mick knows a little bit about the human ego. My ego might be more than my sense of humanity at times. Either way, I am more than a name; I'm The Chez and YOU, You're The Macaronis.

*Wondering how I developed the idea of I'm The Chez and You're The Macaroni? Perhaps you need to listen to some more of the Beastie Boys.


Evil Twin's Wife said...

Ooops, sorry I asked if you were "The Chez" the other night. I just associate you with your blog and some people prefer that sort of semi-anonymity.

It was really nice to meet you, Heather, and I hope we'll have a chance to meet up again in the future! :-) (don't say my real name on here! LOL).

I'm The Chez said...

No worries at all. That didn't bother me at all!!!! In fact, it made the connection much easier to realize. My blog is more or less referring to people that I meet for the very first time, period, not necessarily the very first time in person. ;)

It was very nice meeting you too!

Jennifer said...

When I first met you, I'd seen your name on a number of friends' myspace pages, and I just assumed your name was Chez, pronounced "Shay." I think I called you "Shay" the first time we met in person, lol.