Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren chose the topic of “nicknames,” and she wants to know…
Did you grow up with a nickname?
When I was a kid, my father used to call me “Butch.” I think it was wishful thinking on his part. I think he was hoping for a tough bruiser of a boy who didn’t take shit from anyone. Instead, I was the nerdy, studious type of kid, more likely to be on the debate team than on the football team. I was not very coordinated. I was skinny, wore glasses, had braces on my teeth, and pimples on my face. I was more of a Sheldon than a Butch, which also meant that I was more likely to be beaten up than to beat up another.
Because I was a tall and lanky kid, my best friend’s father called me either “String Bean” or “Beanpole.” He was a mean bastard, even to his own son.
On the other hand, my classmates gave me the nickname of “Doodles” because I used to doodle all the time in my school notebooks.
Was the nickname a form of endearment or a shielded criticism?
I think my father’s nickname was meant as a form of endearment. Obviously “String Bean” and “Beanpole” were not. “Doodles” was just an acknowledgment of my propensity to draw doodles.
Has your nickname influenced you in any way?
It did bother me a little that I did not live up to my father’s “Butch” expectations. I was fine with “Doodles,” but “String Bean” and Beanpole” motivated me to lift weights in an effort to put some muscles on my bones.
Did you ever give a nickname to a family member?
I often called my son “Bubba” or “Bubs.” Strangely, I didn’t have a nickname for my daughter. My wife’s nickname was — and still is — “Yes Dear.”
Have you tried to get rid of a nickname?
Nah. I think if I let people know that I was bothered by their nicknames for me, it would have encouraged them to continue to use them.
If you could give yourself your own nickname what might it be?
Um, Fandango, maybe?