It’s been about a month since I launched Life in Vignette, a new series creative writing series on the blog. My first vignette, Timestrokes, was about brushing my grandmother’s hair when she was dying. It captured a moment that is incredibly precious to me, and I’ll admit that it was a little depressing.
This time, I wanted to share something more lighthearted. It’s one of those childhood moments that stings so badly as a kid but makes the best story as a grown-up. The following is a vignette about my name. Now that I’m a grown-up, I love my name… but it hasn’t always been that way.
I was born on Christmas Eve so my parents almost named me Christmas Carroll. But instead, they chose to name me after my grandparents. Bobbie because both of my grandpas were named Robert. Jo after my grandma JoAnn, and since JoLorraine would have been a weird middle name – they spelled out Elle for my other Grandma.
A boy name and a misspelled French name. Bobbie JoElle, but they called me BJ for short.
Until one day I came home in tears from the fourth grade.
“What’s wrong, BJ?” my mom asked.
I stormed off to my room remembering what the boy had said by the cubbies when the teacher wasn’t listening.
“Don’t ever call me that again!” I screamed over my slamming door.
So now it’s just Bobbie, because a boy name is better than a name boys make fun of.
Now it’s your turn to write a short little vignette about your life. If you’d like, you can use the same theme as my vignette above, by focusing on your name. What does it mean to you? How was it chosen?
Your vignette doesn’t have to be long; that’s the whole point of a vignette. It can be a few sentences, a full paragraph, or a full page. Seriously, go write it right now. It won’t take you long; it doesn’t even have to be polished!
Just be sure to share it with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, commenting below or tagging @actressrobert on Twitter or Instagram. And don’t forget to use #LifeInVignette.
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