Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I love my cheeseburgers, but...

My name is Meaghan. I really like my name, in fact I think it is quite lovely. Meaghan originally came from Meg, which is short for Margaret. Margaret is a Welsh name, although most people think it is Irish, including my parents. Meaghan is most popular among Irish Americans who, like my parents, were looking to take something from their heritage across the Atlantic. Meaghan can be spelled in a multitude of ways, Megan, Meagan, Meegan, etc. My spelling was chosen by an Irish priest that my mother was friends with, who told her it was the true Irish way to spell my name. Little did he know that pencil makers, magnet makers, keychain makers, pin makers, sticker makers, and basically anyone else who hawks merchandise to small children all spell it Megan. I could never find any of the cheap trinkets other kids had because they were always spelled wrong. To this day people spell my name wrong, but I am fine with it. It comes with the territory of having a great and beautiful name.

To make matters more confusing, Meaghan is actually my middle name. My first name is the same name that my mother has. This name, as luck would have it, is actually an anglicized version of an Irish name. Who knew? All my life I have gone by my middle name and my first name was reserved for those fine points in my childhood when I knew the shit was going to hit the fan. Now, as if the spelling of my middle name was not obscure enough, I have always been the one who has to explain to teachers or employers that my real name is not the name I go by. This whole process can be very complicated, yes Professor I am here, but that piece of paper you have in front of you that tells you my name, that's not really my name. Please call me Meaghan. No, it's spelled M-E-A-G-H-A-N.

So, that brings us to my last name. Without telling you my family name I will share that it is not a name for thin skinned people. Even as an adult my name elicits snickers and second looks. I have heard every joke in the world related to my name, and trust me there are many. There were countless times in the school yard where some kid who though they were funny and original and tried to mock my last name. Usually I would make fun of them so bad that they would run away crying, but it starts to get a little old after a while. After wearing my last name for 29 years, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It has made me the bitter angry woman that I am, so leave me the fuck alone.

My point here is people, when it comes to my name I have dealt with it all. There is nothing that I haven't experienced when it comes to the words that identify me. That is, until I took my new job. On our company email server our names are automatically entered on all outgoing messages. Fine, no big deal. There is also spell check which scans all emails. Cool with me, I am a retched speler. The problem is, since Meaghan is not in the dictionary, every time I send a message it highlights my name and gives a suggestion. The problem here being the suggestion. Is it Megan? Or Meagan? Or God forbid Meg? No, I would welcome those. The suggestion is Meatman. Yes, you read that right Meatman. Meatman! Is that even a real word? Meatman. Why on God's earth would Meatman ever be an option. Meatman. Every single time I send an email I watch the computer highlight my name and ask me if I want to replace it with Meatman. Meatman.

Part of me wants to start accepting it as a suggestion just so people will quiver in fear when they read my emails. Who can mess with a girl named Meatman? Vegetarians will hate me, children will fear me, and people will just generally be confused when I write to them. I am Meatman hear me roar.

Lastly, for those of you who know me, go ahead and say Meatman out loud combined with my last name. Yeah. I know. I can hear you laughing from here.


Numero Uno said...

I am crying!!!!!!! Good luck with that!!!!!

carolyn said...

you are cracking me up and i don't even know the second half of the joke.

Meatman is definitely a girl not to be messed with!!!

when i spellcheck my full name, it always suggests "Carolina Storage." nice, right?

NTS said...

Meatman sounds like some kind of superhero for beef, protecting the world from mad cow disease. Combine that with your last name and it sounds like a porn superhero.

allison said...

hehehe...now I really wish I knew the second half of the joke.

My mother's maiden name was particularly brutal and I thank her for the unsuccessful-except-for-the-last-name-aspect marriage to my father.

Cheryl said...

I have a friend of Irish decent whose last name sounds very much like an item a woman might use to pleasure herself. She's grown a skin as thick as a meatman's too.

number4of5 said...

#1...Stop crying. I am not really made of meat, you can still be my sister.

Carolyn..."Carolina Storage" huh? If we got married my name would be Meatman Storage.

NTS...I haven't stopped saying Meatman in the deep drawn out superhero voice since you wrote that. I have always wanted to be a porn superhero...my parents will be so proud.

Allison...despite the brutalness of my last name I am thinking of keeping it. I couldn't be a porn superhero if I lost it.

Cheryl...Wow, your friend almost lives a Seinfeld episode. The only person I have meet whose last name is more bizarro than mine,was a boy with the last name Porn. That had to be rough.

Lis said...

I totally feel your pain with people misspelling your name. Though, I can't admit to ever having a suggestion as good as "Meatman."

I'm Lis with an "s." In fact, that's sometimes how people introduce me. "This is my friend Lis, with an 's.'" It's a family name, from my great-grandmother, and I've been told it's a more European way to spell Elisabeth (just like how they spell realise with an "s"). But I've had to fight people on it forever. And there's nothing more irritating than when people pronounce it without the "z" sound, but rather with the soft "s" sound. Lissssssssssssssssss.

I've had to deal with it for 23 years, but I agree experiences like this help shape us. And finally I have a comeback when people give me crap. I ask, "how do you say "is"? No put an L in front of it."

Bea said...

I feel like I opened a can of worms here, but if a good blog came out of it then I think I'm okay with that. Two comments:

1) I've received much mail from companies with my last name as Bear and spellcheck tries to make it into Bean frequently. Again, not as cool as Meatman, but I feel you.

2) I can't recall if I know your last name, but my neighbor's last name is Fatter. Just consider the possibilities there.