What’s In A Name

Way back at the turn of the century, I owned an internet service provider called SpringSips. Our service was available regionally, though most of our clients lived in a fifty-mile radius. The majority of the technical support came from our small team, so it wasn’t unusual for me to pick up the phone.

“SpringSips. This is LA. How can I help you?”

The gravelly voice rolled over the line like a long-haul trucker, tired and ready to have a beer. “This is Lisa. I can’t connect to the internet.”

Lisa? I searched through my memory banks for instances of a man being named Lisa. Laurie for sure. Little Women leaped to my mind easily.

“Lisa?” I questioned.

“Yes?” She responded, her deep voice booming across the line.

“Ok, let’s try rebooting your machine….”

After the phone call, I sat for a moment and imagined this woman. For me, Lisa belonged to a petite woman I knew in college who looked more like a pixie than a person. Lisa was not the name for this voice. This voice belonged to a Virginia or a Blanche, a dame who rode shotgun with a gangster, smoking unfiltered cigarettes and shooting from the hip.

Have you ever met anyone whose name doesn’t fit? Take a few moments and consider those folks in your life. Clear away their given name and give them the first name that comes to mind. Now ask yourself, why did you pick that name? What are the qualities that you give that name that lend themselves to this person? Is it the way they look, sound, act?

Bonus points for playing with a friend and finding new names for each other!