It’s Finish The Sentence Friday…well, to be honest, that was yesterday but I’ve been moving a little slowly this week—I haven’t even done the post for the award I got—so let’s just pretend I got finished on time (and be glad the link is still open!). In any case, this week’s sentence is “When I was younger, I tried…”
Here’s my contribution:
When I was younger, I tried to get everyone to call me Kimberly instead of Kim…but I wasn’t assertive enough until I was much older.
Which most people probably think is silly…Kimberly, Kim what’s the difference?
And that’s kind of a long story…a story that started when I was 5 years old and desperately wanted a cat. Unfortunately, the fact that I—and my whole family—are all wildly allergic to cat fur created an insurmountable hurdle. I was devastated…and my grandmother decided to console me with the book One Kitten For Kim. Except she clearly didn’t look at the book very closely:
Notice anything odd about Kim? Anything that might upset a 5 year old Kim who desperately wanted a kitten?
Like the fact that the Kim in the book IS A BOY??!!
Which was a crushing blow to my self-identity….a boy’s name. I had a BOY’S NAME. Clearly, I was doomed to a life of androgyny and social exile.
Then, to make matters worse, I made one of the classic blunders: I confided in my brothers.
Now don’t get me wrong, my two brothers are good people. They’re kind, compassionate, supportive…
At least they are NOW.
But at the time they were kids. And BOY kids at that. So when I said, in near hysteria, “Mom and Dad gave me a BOY’S name!” They very helpfully explained that this was because when I was born Mom and Dad had really wanted a boy.
“Who’d want a girl?” One of them asked.
“No one!” The other affirmed.
(It is interesting to note that both of my brothers now maintain that this event never took place and turn the conversation to the time I told the younger one that we had found him under a bridge living with trolls…was everyone this mean to their siblings or were we just warped?)
Anyway, this revelation was enough to push me over into full blown hysterics. I ran sobbing to my mom and started screaming about my boy’s name and how they didn’t want me and so on.
I think it goes without saying that I was a little high strung.
Luckily, my mom had one of those perfect parenting moments. “I don’t know why you’re so upset,” she said. “Your name is Kimberly not Kim.”
The fact that no one really called me Kimberly occurred to me but was just a new target for my obsessive personality. It became a personal mission to get people to start calling me Kimberly instead.
It took 13 years.
Because when I was younger, I wasn’t that assertive. I was a little too worried about people liking me, a little too worried about offending other people…so, I’d say “You know, I really prefer Kimberly but you know, whatever.”
It wasn’t until college that I got pushy about it, insisting on Kimberly instead of Kim. And it worked. Which was just fuel to the crazy fire...By the time I graduated and joined “the real world” I was flat out obnoxious about it, correcting people, pretending not to hear when I was hit with a “drive by Kimming”
A little over the top, I know. But I couldn’t help it because, after all, Kim is a boy’s name.