Thursday, November 13, 2014

Love-hate Relationship

I've been in a love-hate relationship with my name from the very beginning.

When my parents, Jerry Gordon and Carol Lee, knew they were expecting me, they decided to combine their names and make a new name for their baby. One they felt appropriate for either sex. If it was a boy, Jerry Lee, if a girl, it would be Jerri Lea. 

I believe that was kind of a fad in the 50's.  I've met several people whose names are a combination of their parents.

My dad told me over and over that since I was a girl, my name was supposed to be pronounced Jerralea; but they did not spell it like it sounded.  In school it was pronounced Jerry Lee and, of course, kids liked to call me Jerry Lee Lewis.  

No one likes to be teased so I hated my name.

When we moved to Florida, I decided to just go by Jerri and drop the middle name but that brought issues, too. For example, when you attend a large junior high, the school might assign you to a boy's PE class by misspelling your name as Jerry.  Being new to the school, I followed the listing I was given and arrived at the boy's locker room. Thankfully, the class had not started yet and the matter could be rectified quickly.

By the time I reached high school, it had became kind of cool to go by a boy's name, so I didn't mind it as much.

When my husband, Jim, and I got married, he went around introducing us like this, "You've heard of Tom and Jerry? Well, we are Jim and Jerri."  So, of course, people called him Tom.

Now I love my name and it is all because of blogging. When I was thinking of a name for my blog, I had a brainstorm and decided to spell my name like it sounded and so "Jerralea's Journey," was born. Somehow, the act of naming my blog inspired me to start signing my name as Jerralea on everything but legal documents. Because, of course, I'm not going to spend money to change it legally.

I even sign my name as Jerralea on my mother's birthday cards and such since I do it automatically now.

It's only taken a lifetime to feel comfortable with my own name!

Mama's Losin' It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 3. The meaning of your name…does it suit you? For more zany responses to this prompt, or to link up your own story, visit Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.


Melanie Cook said...

I loved reading your post here! Growing up, there wasn't another Melanie around until I was a senior in high school and then a new girl moved there with that name. There were any number of ways to misspell my name though and I saw them all! I usually was called Melody. I've always liked my name though because it was unique. My friends shortened it to Mel which, I guess could have had me mistakenly ending up in the boy's locker room!

Betsy Smith said...

That is so neat! I am Betsy on everything but legal documents. ;)

Simply Linda said...

What a great post. I won't even tell you whom I am named after! (smiles)

Faith said...

well i was named Faith Ellen and that is JUST what my parents called me and i HATED it. I dislike the name Ellen!! and definitely not with Faith. My sisters were Joy and Hope (and then 15 yrs later Jill). So we were teased alot too and called "hippies" or Jesus freaks. Which is funny since i was a teen in the mid to late 70s and WAS a bit of a Jesus freak and hippy. LOL. in college I was Faithe. (pronounced Faith) and to everyone else in my adult life I am just Faith. I finally at age 35 got my mom and dad to call me just Faith. LOL. Loved this story of your name and I do love Jerralea. I think it's so pretty!!

betty said...

Thanks for telling the story behind your name :) It is a pretty one! You don't see it that often(ever)


Dianna said...

Oh how I can relate to getting comfortable with ones name. My name is spelled Dianna and I'm told my mother went to great lengths to make sure people spelled it with two "n"'s. However, I grew up my entire childhood and up into adulthood being called Diane. The only time I ever heard, "Dianna" was when my mother was upset with me...and then it was Dianna Lynn. (I think we all may have experienced that a time or two). Finally when I was in my early 20's one of my childhood friends said when she read a card I'd sent her and signed it "Dianna" "Oh...your name isn't Diane, it is Dianna" And she began calling me by my given name. That is how I was introduced to my future husband. From that point on, most people call me Dianna.

I love your name ...Jerralea. It is such a feminine sounding name.

Dominique Goh said...

That's a really interesting post about the origins of your name. I was named Rachel and later chose Dominique I go by both. Dominique (online ) and Rachel (offline)

TMW Hickman said...

You have a unique story to tell about your name, and not many people have that!

Mama Kat said...

I've been curious about your name before because it's so unique! Love learning the history of it, I never would have guessed it was a combination of your parents names, but that makes it so special!