Monday, October 30, 2006

Not so special after all

Check this out:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Apparently there are 147 other chicks in the United States who share my first and last name.

Try it on yourself and let me know how many you come up with.
I remember being one Little Pissed-Off Second Grader when I learned there was another Heather at my elementary school.

I was livid. How dare she take MY NAME? If I’m like a goddamn snowflake and there’s nobody else on the planet like me, what is this bitch doing with my name? Who was this imposter Heather, anyway?

I got over it eventually but never liked her much all the way through high school.
Heather. It’s a good name. It’s different. I like it.

And I’m a firm believer that your name has an impact on your life and on your future.

That said, have you ever noticed that on TV and in the movies, Heathers are mostly whores, sluts and strippers?

This is another one of those moments when you can keep your snidely-ass comments to yourself. Trust me, you’re not gonna come up with anything that I haven’t already heard a thousand times before.
Whaddaya think?

Does your name make you special? Does it make you who you are?

Or would you have the exact same life if you’d been named something completely different?
I actually communicated with another of the 147 Heather S’s via e-mail two years ago.

She contacted me because I owned the .com URL of our name.

I bought it during a silly moment of hubris way back when the Internet was just gaining popularity – I thought that someday I’d be a famous writer and it would be important to own the rights to the site bearing my name.

Turns out she’s a famous photographer from New York who offered to buy the site from me for a thousand dollars.

I turned her down.

Not because it was rather unsettling admitting to myself that I wasn’t going to be the famous Heather S______.

And not because it was like giving up a lifelong dream.

It was mostly because it felt like taking money for the site would’ve been bad karma.

So I ended up just giving it to her.

She obviously had a better, more legitimate use for it than I ever would.
I believe that having a classically bimbotic name like Heather has made me try harder in some respects.

If I’d been named Susan or Hilary or Phyllis I might not have to work so hard to prove I’m not an idiot (most of the time.)

I read more. I try to keep up on current events. I work my brain harder to not live up to the stigma that comes with having a name like Heather.
Do you mean to say that you wouldn’t read a lot if you’d been named Ann or Liz?

I don’t know. That’s what makes me a Heather.
It was odd meeting someone else with my name.

We discovered that we shared quite a few other things in common besides our name. Her nickname is Red. My nickname is Hed (an unfortunate yet logically shortened version of Hedy.) We both moved away from our hometowns in our early twenties to make a go of it alone (she to New York, me to Chicago.) We curse like truck drivers. And we’re both relatively unconventional – although she much more so than me.

It was like meeting another, slightly different version of myself.

Not a better Heather, mind you. Just different.
I am listening to: Heather Nova – Walk This World
I am reading: Steinberg
And I am: Not so special after all