I've always (oddly) found comfort in two short lines from one of William Shakespeare's plays: "Romeo and Juliet."
"What is in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
Why does this particular quote strike my fancy? Because about half the people I talk to cannot seem to get my name right. I'm not talking mispronunciations or the occasional wrong name, I'm talking variations I would have never thought of.
Just to name a few:
Samantha (which I get most often.)
Just about any variation of an 'S' name, but my actual name.
And my newest favorite: Lorena.
So, my take away on what Shakespeare was saying, in a nutshell, all those years ago is even though I may get called any other name than my own, I'm still pretty sweet, right?
A previous co-worker of mine got a kick out of my name variations as people would call the office and to this day just calls me Caroline for the heck of it.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not mad and it doesn't even bother me anymore. I actually get a kick out of it.
I have to blame my name confusion on my father. As a child, he told me he wanted to name me Sabrina because it wasn't one he heard too often. Little did he know, it would cause a lifetime of confusion.
(Also, I hardly ever found any of those cool name plates or keychains during my travels, which was a bummer as my sister, Crystal, had her name plastered everywhere.)
According to www.parents.com, less than .15 percent of the population was given the name Sabrina the year I was born. That's 2,435 people given the same name as myself in the year 1988.
I think I've met two other Sabrina's in my life.
When people get confused, I'll often reply with: "Sabrina. Like the Teenage Witch."
That show in itself caused enough problems for me as a child. As a sensitive pre-teen, it would bug me when people called me Sabrina the Teenage Witch (or other forms which included replacing the w in witch to a b. Kids are mean!)
As I got older, I made it my own with replies like, "I wish I was a witch so I could turn you in to a frog!"
My own issue with names has made me terrified of calling others by the wrong name. So, if we've just met (or actually haven't met and are chatting on the phone), there is a pretty good chance I'm going to avoid using your first name in initial encounters.
Sabrina is the editor of the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 812-847-4487.