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!