an old fashioned shih tzu with boobs and a spare tire

check out those sideburns....

I was named after my grandmother. Since my grandmother is, well, my grandmother, she happens to have a slightly old fashioned name.


I get a variety of reactions when I tell people my real name. A stammered "Well, uh, at least it's not... Bertha? [or some other not-so-desired name]" is common. So is, "Oh what a wonderful, Biblical name!" (I am in the south).

I bring this up because of a recent reaction I got at the dermatologist's office. "Is Esther a family name?" the nurse asked. I nodded, expecting reaction B, the biblical reply.

The nurse smiled and shook her head sadly. "I kept trying to get [the dermatologist] to name his little shih tzu Esther. She just looks like an Esther!"

Google Esther and you'll find... {well, this sentence was supposed to continue with "pictures of old ladies in rocking chairs" -- because that's what I think when I hear the name, and Google is usually on my side with these things -- but apparently Google images thinks "boobs" when it hears Esther. So scratch that. }

What I'm trying to say is that I've kind of spent my whole life feeling like I don't fit into the mold my name created for me. And due to some permanent scarring from elementary and middle school, I hear imaginary giggles every time my name is called at the DMV, the doctor's office, or the first day of school. Also, Wanda Sykes recently told Ellen that she named her spare tire Esther. Because what better name for both a shih tzu AND a fat roll than Esther?!

I rarely miss an instance of my name trying to squeeze through the cracks and become hip again. (Madonna tried her best in 2004). And given all that I've been through, all the hardships I've faced on the first day of school when I've turned bright red and muttered "Everyone calls me D", shouldn't I take every opportunity to embrace my given name? Even when -- no, especially when -- it comes in the form of a $200+ purse?