Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's your name again?

(this is a little rushed, I'm trying to be part of the Cheesy Blogger's weekly challenge before my husband packs up the mac.)

Most of you know me as Ashes. A few of you know me as Rem. And even fewer of you know exactly why I have so many names.

I name everything, and most of the stories are short and lame. For example Rocky the Mountain Bike, and Rinky our dinky red car, those don't even need a story as self explanatory as they are. The story of how I got my nickname however is long and slightly hilarious as it is full of the ridiculousness of high school.

My maiden name was Redd. Growing up in a military society most people know you by your last name. My first name is Ashley, I've been called Ashes ever since I was tiny, and shortened it to Ash shortly before the advent of Pokemon. Yeah. With all of this I discovered that what others called you could greatly effect your high school experience.

There were too many Ashley's in my school. I'm not kidding, there were only 300 or so students and at least 15% of them were Ashley's. Going by Ash was out of the question; the first time I introduced myself that way I got the lovely "like from Pokemon?" complete with the distasteful scrunching of the nose. It was logical to just go by my last name, it was a military school after all, easy. Or not, turns out my last name was some super popular girl's nick name and so I couldn't be called that. Didn't matter that it was actually my name she scared enough people that no one was willing to take the easy route.

Lucky for me I had a two really good friends, Kai and Melanie. We were dorks, no not just regular dorks, flaming dorks. We wrote fan fiction at lunch, played Gaia online before it sold it's soul to consumerism, talked about ytmnd.com and watched red vs blue before they made t-shirts, comics and anime stacks sat next to our idea for our next role play. Dorks I say! As flaming dorks we had to get japanese nicknames just like Kai's!

So here's where it gets a little more interesting... or long depending on your tastes. I was in love with the movie Hero that had come out that year, Jet Li rocked the 'no name' character straight into my dorky heart. My nick name was easy I'd be 'no name'. Using a handy little online translation sight that came out to be Nanashi. Easy, simple, no fuss. Melanie however was harder to please.

Melanie wanted us to find her a name that sounded cool. Kai and I did, but the kanji looked stupid. Okay, we found a few more names with more interesting kanji, but they sounded lame or too long or the kanji was too complicated or didn't mean the right thing. She was as finicky as a pampered cat! In a fit of frustration I announced, after a weekend spent searching the corners of ever japanese dictionary, website, and person for just the right name for my friend, that she no longer deserved a name. She was 'no name' and she could say nothing about it! Argh!
After the initial rage I then realized that I'd just given away my nickname. D'Oh!

Kai assured me that the newly christened Nanashi and she would find me a good japanese nickname. Weeks went by and nothing happened, no names were presented to me so I started to bring up my own. Each one of my ideas was shot down by my friends. For a while I thought that I was just going to have to go back to Ashes and leave it at that. There would be no 'reinventing myself' in high school for me.
When I'd given up hope Kai and Nana came running up to me to announce that they'd found the perfect name for me: Rem! I was really confused because as far as I knew that wasn't a japanese name. They assured me that it was, and even if it wasn't that they were my friends and they were going to call me that forever regardless. Eventually I found out that they'd named me after a character from a series called 'Trigun" but I'd gotten so used to the name I didn't bother railing against it. I didn't find out till I moved to Japan that it is a japanese name, a boy name typically translated as 'Ren', and it means 'lotus'.

And that is how Ashes turned into a Lotus. *haha... okay, fine, it's not funny*

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