Abby. Abbi. Abbie.
No matter how you spell it, I can guarantee that your instincts never tell you to shove in an “e” between the “b” and “y”. Why would you? Why would someone’s parents purposefully place the curse of peers constantly misspelling their name upon their child?
My parents, that’s who. However, it wasn’t just a cruel joke that they played on me to make me miserable. There’s meaning behind it. My mother’s name was Michelle, but everyone called her Shelley. That’s with an “-ey”. So her firstborn became AbbEY and next came little baby KatEY. I hope to continue this tradition with my children someday: perhaps with a LucEY or a MollEY. I can picture my daughters staring at me with narrowed-eyed resentment while all their teachers and peers misspell their name. They’ll probably mutter to me, “I guess misery really does love company.”
The spelling of my name has definitely caused problems for me. Fortunately, I’m not alone on this difficult journey! One of my closest friends, Gina Deaton, has the same problem. She recently wrote in a blog post called Spelling it out in which she described her bafflement of how people could spell such a simple name wrong. I sympathize with her. Having known her for years, I find it odd to stumble upon a “Geena” and she probably considers it difficult to spell out “Abby” without inserting an “e”.
We both have to face people who give us uncertain glances as they begin to jot down our names and we correct them. We have a curse of never being able to locate a souvenir from shops on vacation with our names embroidered on them. Though some of this misspelling is a product of simply not knowing, some is due to sheer ignorance. When people comment on a Facebook post or tweet me, my name is right there. AbbEY Marshall. Yet I still get replies from people who go to my school that say, “lol Abby” or “Abby, this is hilarious”. To me, this is rather lazy.
However, there are perks. I can easily measure my friendships by carefully observing how one spells my name. If they incorporate an “e”, they’re a keeper. On top of that, I think it’s unique. I’m a big advocate of being one-of-a-kind. I believe in being yourself and standing out from the crowd, and what’s a better way of doing that than a peculiar name that identifies who you are? Although I may complain about it, I secretly love being different.
And if you read this and still misspell my name… Well, beware.