I went to lunch today with some buddies of mine to celebrate my friend, Shannon’s birthday. I was a little late because I had a meeting at work where I did a presentation that included a picture of Abraham Lincoln that I drew myself. You like my picture?
Okay, back to my story.
So I get to lunch a little bit late and see a small group of friends in line to order. They’re excited to see me and there are waves and hugs and greetings. Mike then decides that he’s going to try calling me Lawrence.
In the next sentence, he calls me Larrie.
His new nickname didn’t last long.
As I sat down at the table with my food and looked around at my friends I realized that in this group, all six of them call me Larrie. And I find that funny.
Simply because I never introduce myself as Larrie.
And yet, before long, word gets out and I am often surprised by how many people decide to change from my given, and meant-for-a-female name, Lauren to the surprisingly masculine nickname, Larrie*.
If all of my friends read my blog, I would create a survey to find out how they learned that my nickname is Larrie. Here are some possible situations that I could think of:
- They play soccer with me… and with my sister who always calls me Larrie on the field,
- From my freshman ward at BYU where, just for fun, we told the Bishop to call me Larrie,
- In one of my two BYU classes freshman year where my professors also called me Larrie (Book of Mormon, and some sort of Honors English class),
- In one of my other BYU wards where somebody from my past called me Larrie and soon, other people copied,
- In my last singles ward where two guys from a past BYU ward, and one girlfriend I met through my freshman roommate, started the Larrie-calling trend,
- A coworker who added me on Facebook and soon learned of my secret, second identity.
Nicknames are fun, right? My friend, Lacy, and I tried to document all of ours when we were in junior high. Both of us had nice, long lists—nicknames from friends, family, and ones we’d made up for the purpose of disguising our identities when passing notes**.
You have any good nicknames? And by good I mean things like “The Legend,” or a name based on a fictionalized Christmas Elf, or something as grand as “Teqwita, Goddess of the Trees.” But maybe good can be bad, too, right? Things like “Bird Bones” or “Dangerous.” Come to think of it, those nicknames might work well for somebody in a biker gang.
* For those of you who don’t know, it’s pronounced just like your great uncle’s name, Larry. Apparently, the I.E. makes it feminine. Or if you’re my college roommates, it stands for Innocent Energy.
**It’s funny to me that we went to such great lengths to disguise our notes. We also made up a code that we wrote our message in and then, at the end of the note, we drew a cartoon. The best part is that we then signed the cartoon, because you had to sign your own work. But don’t worry, we even had code signatures.