[First, here’s “why” I’m talking about this.]
I introduce this topic today because:
- It makes me irritable and therefore is rant-worthy;
- No one I know irl can figure out what to do about the sort of rudeness I will describe below; and
- I’m hearing about more and more adults who are changing their first names. So even if you haven’t experienced firsthand what I’m talking about here, I’m betting that sometime soon you will.
[This is not the snarl part.]
A few of my friends have changed their first names. Some have adopted a different version of their childhood name e.g. Kathy became Katie. Others have tweaked their childhood name e.g. Sandy became Sondy. While others have changed their names completely e.g. Joyce became Suzy.
[Still not the snarl part.]
I’m always happy to use whatever name a friend wants me to use. I figure that he or she has good reasons for changing his or her name, and I can’t imagine being so rude to someone as to not respect what he or she wants to be called.
[This is the beginning of the snarl part.]
But I’ve noticed that not everyone I know is as gracious about name changes as I am. In fact, on a few occasions I’ve been shocked when someone I know insists that he or she doesn’t have to adopt a friend’ s new name because he or she knew this person before the name change. Therefore, he or she is exempt from cooperating.
I’ve come to think of these uncooperative sorts of people as the louts.
[Full snarl here.]
Obviously, this behavior is insulting to the name changer, but it is also awkward for those of us who know both the name changer and the uncooperative lout. While I understand that there is a power play going on here, I can’t figure out what the end game is. Is the lout trying to undermine the name changer? Or is the lout trying to punish those of us who cooperative with the name changer? Or is the lout so obtuse that he or she really doesn’t understand how irritating his or her behavior truly is?
[And finally, I conclude.]
I realize that lack of courtesy is an epidemic in our world. And I also realize that I cannot change people (nor do I want to). But this situation has made me more aware of how fragile personal relationships are. And how nonchalantly some people I know will throw them away when asked to bend just a little bit.
Can you blame me when I say that I have an overwhelming urge to snarl?