I have a friend who I really enjoy. This friend has issues with things -takes issue with things. Some things make her mad, make her feel disrespected, slighted or offended. My problem is that I can’t always guess these things in advance. I find out about them when she’s telling a story about someone who did something that just sent her up a tree. Sometimes I can’t exactly figure out the punchline, because I don’t know what the offending behavior is.
Turns out there are a lot of people who have issues like this. It turns out I have issues like this. Things I load with meaning, significance and content that may, or may not be there. It might turn out the everyone has issues like this. It comforts me to know I’m not generally an angry person. It worries me because people who are angry may be set off by things I am simply clueless about. Here are some things with significance you may not be aware of. Be careful out there.
Shortening someone’s name. This is one of my pet peeves. It rubs me the wrong way for many reasons. Not the least of which is that my particular name doesn’t really have a shortened form. Calling me Leese doesn’t make me feel like we’re now good buds. It makes me feel like you’re trying way too hard. People who have shorten-able names are frequently upset by this as well. I once thought my neighbor introduced himself as Chuck and so, called him that, only to realize later that I heard him wrong and he NEVER uses Chuck. Oops. Another friend goes by Catherine and god forbid if you slip and call her Cathy.
I get it, I really do. That isn’t your name. It’s a youthful version of your name, or it’s a cutsie version or maybe it’s your family’s version. Can you try to forgive me? It isn’t that I don’t care, it’s just that sometimes I have trouble keeping track of which people are good with the abbreviated forms and which aren’t. Forgive me. I might have other really great qualities.
Truth be told (and this is a confession) the name storage function in my brain seems to be fond of two very embarrassing short-cuts. First, I tend to file all different versions of kathi,cathy, kathee, catherine, kathyrine, etc together. Just the name file. It’s not like I can’t tell you from the other Quathi, it’s just that you’re located close together in the filing system and sometimes there are clerical errors. Secondly, I tend to file ethnic names together under a very vague an not altogether appropriate set of categories. A name like Quathi would actually quite befuddle the system, because the Q-U-A part would make it want to be sort of Middle-eastern, but it is pronounced Cathy, so it would also get filed with the other Khathi forms.
I’m just a little slow. There are a few other things which turn out to be preloaded with meaning you may not have known about. World peace turns out to be a tall order. I’ll have a few more loaded situations in the next day or so.