Over at MOMocrats, we're standing in solidarity with Barack Obama today against right-wing nutjobs who think that a person's name is fair game in their never-ending battle to take the American political process right into the crapper. We're calling it "Just Call Me Hussein" day, and telling our name stories.
Go over to MOMocrats and read the post that inspired this little impromptu blog action, and blog about it today, use "Hussein" as your name, or leave a comment with your story.
This is my story and I'm sticking to it.
Long-time readers of this blog (all three of you) know that the reason this blog is called "The Silent I" is that the "i" in my name is silent. Yes, my name is pronounced "Glenna", but I have gone through life being called, alternately, "Glen-nee-ya," "Glen-ya," and my favorite: "Glen-NIGH-ya" (think Shania, as in Shania Twain).
Telemarketers seem to have particular difficulties in pronouncing it, and it comes out, "Glenina," "Glenda," or "Glennis." This came in handy in my twenties, when I was avoiding those calling about my late student loan payments, and would say, "Nobody named 'Glenenis' here."
I grew up in the '70's and at the time, there was a popular TV variety show hosted by country singer, Glen Campbell. He had the annoying habit of opening the show with "HOW-DEEEEE, I'm Gleeeeeyun Campbellll!" Needless to say, I heard that "Howdeee!" refrain on the playground a lot. A whole freaking lot.
Even as a young adult, people would often ask if I was either named after Glen Campbell or related to him. (No on both counts). Luckily, his star faded in the 1980's until a drunk driving arrest brought him back to the spotlight. Moms, before you name your kid Britney or Madonna or Clooney, think of this as a cautionary tale.
Having a last name that was also a popular brand name did not help matter much either. "Hey, Soup!" kids would shout, "Are you chicken noodle? Get it? Chicken? Noodle? Are you a chicken or a noodle?" har-de-har-har
When you're eight, you know people will find a way to razz you about your name. When you're a 47 year old candidate for President, the first African-American President of the Harvard Law Review, and a member of the United States Senate, it's beyond juvenile and ridiculous to insinuate that you're somehow aligned with terrorists because your parents named you after your father. Last time I checked, most people outside of Hollywood don't have much say in what their names are.
You got that, Bill the Pill "Cunnilingus-ham"?
Glennia Hussein Campbell