“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” - Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name...

As most of you know I have refered to my husband as "Ricky" for the past 10 1/2 years. His family has called him "Ricky" since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and since I met them before I met him it's what stuck. Interestingly when left to themselves (without me around using the name "Ricky") most other people who spend enough time with him to warrant a nickname call him "Rich". By now you may have guessed (if you didn't already know) my hubby's name is Richard. That's how he introduces himself to everyone he meets. Why? Because that's his "real" name.

It's kind of funny when I think about it... All of my girl friends call him "Ricky" and most of their husbands call him Richard and a few call him "Rich". I sometimes wonder if I had met him before his family would I have called him by his full name? Or perhaps shortened it up to "Rich" as most non-relatives do? I have no idea.

What I do know is that my husband hates being called "Ricky"...hates it! How could I have not known? He told me last week he thinks it's "lame" and "ridiculous". I feel kind of bad for letting such a basic fact go unnoticed. He doesn't mind "Rich" too much, but "Ricky", "Rick", "Richie", and "Dick" are out of the question.

So naturally I have to fix this. I mean I influence what other people know him as... I have turned perfectly good Richard users into "Ricky" users on more than a few occassions! So I'm gonna work on calling him Richard. I'm not sure I can do "Rich" so we'll start with the basics and then if I get too annoyed calling him by his full name I'll hack off the "ard". Sounds fair enough.

Now the rest of you, all I'm really asking from you is to not make a face or think I've gone snobby when you hear me saying Richard. You can feel free to be supportive and try using his full name or if you must shorten it, "Rich", but you don't have to. I know some of you are thinking "I've called him "Ricky" as long as I've known him I'm not about to start calling him something else just cause he's being picky". I can assure you he has always felt this way.

I know it may seem like it's just a name, and for flowers such as roses that may be true. Roses don't have feelings or preferences or a sense of identity. My husband does. As his wife I feel it's important that I help him be identified in a way that fits his preferences and personality, his personality as *he* sees it not as everyone else sees it. So here I go!