When I usually meet someone for the first time, I say, “Hello. My name is Giovanny. What’s yours?” No pick up lines. No game. Just a straight out greeting. I don’t often have the convenience of a name tag, but it usually is a good opening to talk to someone new. There’s an idea that when you give a little of something, the other person will give something back. So when I give someone my name, I’d expect the other person to give me theirs.
Names. I love my name, although it wasn’t always so. Imagine being the Indonesian kid with an Italian name where every other Indonesian kid had American names or Indonesian ones. So I got names on my mind.
It was just 45 years ago that Shirley Ellis released her hit, “The Name Game,” an addictive fun naming rhyme song.
It was just 10 years ago that Destiny’s Child released their hit, “Say My Name,” a song about a cheating boyfriend.
It was just 5 years ago that Eminem released his hit, “My Name is,” a song about introducing himself to the world.
It was just last year that the Ting Tings release their hit, “That’s Not My Name,” a song about a guy who can’t remember the girlfriend’s name, probably because he’s been cheating on her.
Whatever the case, names are important. It’s part of your identity–it can say a lot about who you are and where you are from or how interesting your parents are. For example, some celebrities give their children the most bizarre names. I mean who names their child Kal-El? Apple? Tu? And gives an Italian name to their Indonesian son? *Sigh* My mom.
Names can help put your name in the door, especially when they’re unique. Or, they can be as common as “John” (I apologize if I’ve offended anyone by that name). Names have important meaning, often what your parents hope that you will aspire to be or what you already are. For example, my name means, “God is gracious.” My mom decided on “Giovanny” because I was born on her birthday. Thus, God is gracious because I was her birthday present.
And for the rest who hate their names, there’s always the choice of changing it. Just ask Sean Combs. Sean Puff Daddy Combs. Puff Daddy. P. Diddy. Sean John Combs. I forgot what he’s going by now. Or you can be as unique as adding a dollar sign to your name, lie KE$HA. Or, you can go ridiculous as that UK teenager who legally changed his name to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined or the guy named Lord Jesus Christ. We do strange things sometimes.
What’s the story of your name? What does it mean?