When I was six years old, my dad gave me bronze business card holder with my initials on it. He didn’t give it to me to propel me towards a career in business, but simply because it came free with an order he had placed, he already had one for himself, and thought I’d think it was fun. Of course, being someone who (at least at that age, I’ve gotten much better) ALWAYS looked a gift horse in the mouth, I found a reason to complain about this completely unexpected gift. He put the initials MKM on it. Which are, in fact, my initials. But at that time I was boycotting my given name, and I was hurt and upset that my father didn’t know this and take it into account when ordering the card holder (yes, I expected my parents to be able to read my mind in those days).
When I was a kid, I didn’t like my middle name, which is Klein (my mom’s maiden name). It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t like that name until my sister was born, and was given the middle name Rose. I wanted a pretty middle name too. I started saying that my middle name was Rose too, but my mom told me I couldn’t have it, that it was my sister’s. So I decided that my middle name was going to be May, in honor of my birth month. All this led to the temper tantrum when my dad gave me the card holder, because Klein had no place in my name in my warped little mind in those days.
About the time I was wrapping up my high school days, I started to come back around to the middle name Klein. I realized how much more character it had than May, and I liked the fact that it identified me as someone who had at least a little Jewish lineage (being blonde, blue eyed and raised in a Unitarian church, I didn’t have much else identifying me as a Jew). These days it is my middle name, and one I am proud to carry.
Last Wednesday, I was going through a box, in an attempt to get my apartment in order, and I found the business card holder I had so crazily rejected 20 years ago. Only these days, the initials are right. Yesterday, I received a box in the mail at work, which contained 250 business cards, the first I’ve ever received with my own name on them. Last night, I joined the cards and the case, and said a little silent prayer of thanks and appreciation for my dad, who all those years ago had tried to do something nice* for me.
*He continues to do nice things for me, there was a little package in my mailbox yesterday with three cds from the daddy-o.
i was so excited to get my first set of biz cards at my last job. at the age of 24, they were my first. but i quit that job many moons ago. i wanna get myself some new biz cards, for my freelance photography, but all these damn bills keep getting in the way!
I had no idea of all of this, but I’m glad it all turned out well. I certainly remember adding May as a middle name, but I certainly did not realize the angst that lay behind it. Your mom just told me she was aware of it. Just call me Mr. Oblivious. Too bad I don’t win $20.
What an excellent dad story! And what an excellent dad! (It reminded me of a friend with no middle name. She decided to give herself the middle name “Gillian” and ordered her high school graduation announcements with that name, unbeknownst to her parents. So the announcements arrive, but by then, my friend had forgotten all about her temporary middle name and her parents were bewildered. I always thought that was so funny!)