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!
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.