My name is Crystal.
I have a middle name, Ann.
Middle names are a tradition in the US, but the middle name itself is rarely if ever used in everyday talking. I know my closest friend’s middle names, but have no idea what the middle names of most of my friends are because it’s just not part of the common form of address.
So why have them? Depends on the family. In some cases, it’s a way to honor a family member. For others, it’s where we get creative if we prefer a more “normal” first name (example, Elanor is Elanor Athena…we didn’t feel comfortable going with Athena for our bi-racial but not even a little bit Greek daughter). Other people do it just because.
Mostly it gives moms like me a longer name to use to indicate that the child is in trouble. I don’t know many American kids who don’t freeze the second their full name (Crystal Ann XXXX) is said in MOM VOICE.
Which is why here in Singapore the fact that people can’t seem to understand that my name is Crystal and not Crystalann bugs me. I hear Crystalann (said fast) and either think it’s not me because I misheard or I flinch because I’m expecting my mom to start yelling at me and I start wondering what I did wrong recently that she might have found out about. Why? Because the ONLY person who calls me “Crystal Ann” is my mom, and it’s only when I was younger and about to get into trouble.
I have tried explaining that Ann isn’t really part of my name that I use.
“But it’s on your passport,” is the standard response.
Well, yes, it is, because you put your middle name (or part of it in my case) on your passport, something I’m regretting right now. Before Asia, no one has ever thought that “middle name” meant anything other than a middle name I don’t use.
“But it’s not part of my first name,” I protest.
That gets the blank stare.
At which point, in many cases, I just give in “yes, I’m Crystalann, whatever.”
Considering my posting has been erratic, it’s only fair to let you know this is the second post today. My other post today was a review of Into the Woods.