Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sometimes Candy Is NOT So Dandy

If the old saying is true, that "its all in a name", then I think might have I gotten gypped. My blog moniker is, in fact, my real name and it's one I never took a shine to until later in life. My given name, bestowed upon me at the time of my birth, has a completely different feel and what I find so interesting is that my name has now become the mirror that has two faces.

Candy, the name I use here, is the one that I have been known as for most of my life. You can tell how long someone has known me by the name they call me. My family and very close friends still refer to me as Candy. For me, Candy will always be the cute little girl in pigtails with her front tooth missing. As a young child of school age, I was bright and full of joy, eager to find my place amongst my peers. The joy almost always came to an abrupt halt the moment they learned my name. It was as if I was asking for it-an easy target for their ridicule. And ridicule me they did. I became used to spending the first few minutes of an introduction going over the specific idiosyncrasies of the name Candy. And believe me when I tell you, I have heard them all-then and now.

"Are you sweet?"
"Do you TASTE good?"
"Hey Candy, can I have some?"
"Candy Cane, can I suck on you?"

The horror of hearing these phrases over and over again from almost every grade school crush and schoolmate played out in the school yard on a daily basis. After a while, I just learned to deal with it and made my mark in other ways. It could have been worse. I could have been ugly--just kidding. All I'm saying is that I took it in stride.

As an adult, when I was dating, any guy that played the name game with my introduction, was out. No questions, no exceptions. It was my own personal litmus test. My mom and dad still call me Candy, as well as my 4 siblings, who also have a shortened version to express their love, a more endearing, simple, Cand. My given name was rarely used, only for official documents, doctors appointments and when I knew I was in BIG trouble. My mom would scream it from the other room, in a phonetically articulate manner, and that's when I knew the jig was up.

It wasn't until I became an adult, somewhere in my 20 somethings, that I stopped introducing myself as Candy and adopted my rarely used given name, Candace. And I liked it.

It had a certain regality to it that Candy just couldn't convey and I was able to successfully separate myself from that little girl in pigtails. There was a point that Candy became uncomfortable, the ridicule of the name taking an ominous turn into the lurid. Hooker jokes, porn stars named Candy, dumb blonde with big boobs jokes, Candace served to protect me from the vulnerability of Candy. With Candace, as a young adult just beginning life's journey, I could, without questions or ridicule, stand alone. It is a name I am proud to call my own.

So why is it that I chose Candy for the title of my blog world? It would seem that even I can't escape the gimmick of the name. Candy works for my purposes here. It's catchy and has an ease to it and it's easy to remember. In the bloggersphere, it just sort of pops off the page and represents the light, ironic content I share here daily and if you were to meet me, I'd still be Candy. It is me. Like it or not, I am stuck with it.

But dare I say it, I'm beginning to like it.

Reacquainting myself with Candy has been therapeutic, working to exile the demons of my past. If it's true about it being all in a name, Candy has given me back a unique quality I may have buried somewhere deep. Silly as it sounds, it makes me approachable. I no longer grimace when a stranger calls me Candy, having picked it up from someone close to me. I have warmed to what is rightfully mine. I will probably always introduce myself as Candace, as I have honed that persona to perfection as well. Candace is the capable adult, and Candy is free to be the crazy one.

Wow. If I read that last sentence again, I think I just learned that maybe Candy really is dandy!


Bella@That damn expat said...

I like Candace.

But yeah, to me you are Candy.

Heff said...

Damn. I would have been one of those dates that was immediately OUT, as I jump on the easy jokes with haste !

Dr Zibbs said...

People that have known me since I was a kid call me Jimmy. Not even Ddr Jimmy. Just Jimmy. Can't stand it.

Lisa said...

As if guys don't enough crappy pick up lines as it is! I would have given them the goofball har har laugh and told them how funny they were while they watched the back of my head leaving the scene.

But then again... you get two personalities. We all have those anyway... yours just have names. :)

Marty said...

I have always disliked "Marty" but hated "Martin" even worse. Candace is a great name to fall back on - but I do think Candy is wonderful. I have an award for you on my blog.

SkylersDad said...

I got stuck with a first initial of J and a middle name of Christopher, and I go by Chris.

Every form you ever fill out your entire life, people think you can't figure out first name and middle name and just "correct" it for me!

Cheryl said...

How much does a polar bear weigh?

.. Enough to break the ice!

Hi, I'm Cheryl.

Also, Candy is an awesome name.

Cora said...

I love the name Candy. It just seems full of life, laughter, love and happiness. That's my feeling associated with it. I never would have made the hooker connection or anything which you mentioned. Bambi, Trixie, Kiki or Coco, those are the hooker names in my book. Not Candy. Not to be annoying or to make a joke, I swear, but I think Candy IS a sweet name. I think it's lovely. Honestly.

However, I know how it feels to grow up hating your name because kids pick on you for it. Been there. My maiden name was Ives. If you say Cora Ives fast it comes out like "four eyes" which is what they used to taunt me with before I even got glasses. Then I started needing glasses and I was too horrified to tell anyone I couldn't see the blackboard clearly. I squinted in school with headaches every day for three years before someone figured it out and I was forced to get glasses. Then the kids laughed their faces off because "Four Eyes" really was a four eyes now. Jerks. Kids can be mean. :-( But, honestly, I adore your name, Candy! I think it's wonderful!

Bill Stankus said...

Certain names have age limits. And there are career limits as well. I don't want a heart surgeon going by the name "Billy Bob" or "Dicky". It would also be impossible to take a English professor seriously if her name is Buffy.

Americans love to mangle and or abbreviate names. I've dealt with Little Billy, Billy, Willie, Will, Bill and William ... waaay too many names coming off just one birth name.

BeckEye said...

Hey, can I suck on this blog?

I'm sure every guy who said something stupid to you about your name thought he was real original too.

SouthernBelle said...

I'm glad you like Candy, because we like you, Candy!

I grew up hating my given name, and it didn't really lend itself to nicknames, but I'm growing to accept it these days.

Anonymous said...

It is one of the mysteries of life, why do people play with names? Personally, I don't, I don't even like using nicknames, much prefer the real thing.


Alex Galvez said...

A) I would have hit on you BIG TIME back in my hey-day (although only in a timewarp sceanario where we would be the same age) and B) I would have made a smartass remark about candy....actually...I would have put that Iggy Pop cassette (oh yeah) in and let the song, "Candy" play whilst a Cheshire cat smile was on my face!

John said...

Candy is always dandy. : ) And you're not "... later in life." Later in life comes later.

Scope said...

I'm not sure if I would have made one of the "Candy" jokes, it depends on when/where we were introduced, but the massive smirk on my face as all the jokes ran through my head would have pissed you off. And I would eventually use them, knowing I was NOT being original. I play with names and the language. It's what I do. One of my blog followers is "Mrs. IVy.". I named her that because her husband is a "the fourth."

And with the Scope/Eric thing, I so get the Candy/Candace thing.

Oh, and Alex, with her class of '84 post last weekish, she's in our peer group. (Alex and I went to college together.)

At least you didn't hate your name as a much as a girl I dated in college. "Sandra". She hated it and "Sandy" so much, she went by her initials, "SAM" When she got married, she legally changed her first name to "Sam"

Anonymous said...

I think Candy is dandy! But I would probably introduce myself at first as Candace. Let them figure out I'm Candy. Like you said, upon first meeting, it's just too tempting!!

~E said...

Well, at least should you ever decide to make a career change towards the adult industry you wouldn't have to change your name!

And you know what else? My mother's nickname is Candy. And she is a Dentist. Ironic? Nay! HILARIOUS!

slopmaster said...

I don't know, there's also something to having two names, two identities and if you think about it you have 2 and even more sides of you.

pure evyl said...

I like the name. Some names fit and some don't. I work with a guy that is in his 50's and still goes by Timmy. After a while it looks like he would just be dropped to Tim. But Timmy just fits him.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I hated Fancy Nancy as a kid, and embrace it now as an adult. I'm reminded of a t-shirt my brother used to wear, "Candy is dandy, but sex doesn't rot your teeth out."

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