What’s in a name?
When I was born my parents named me Suzanna Louise Testa. As a young child being raised in West Virginia, I was insecure that perhaps Suzanna Louise sounded a wee bit hillbilly. In my mind I pictured a woman with rollers in her hair and an apron on her body screaming from a mountain top, “Suzanna Louise! Dinner is ready!”
So when I was in middle school I decided to change my name to Lily. It’s not that random. Suzanna means lily. My mom wasn’t really on board, but I campaigned hard at school. I spent about a month correcting my teachers and peers. “Hey, Suzy…” “It’s Lily.” Just as it was becoming second nature for them to call me Lily, I had an exasperating change of heart and switched back to Suzy. “Hey, Lily…” “It’s Suzy.” This prompted a short period of deserved teasing where both of the names were lumped together and I was called either Luzy or Silly.
These were the same years that I also realized that the hillbilly ring was the least of my worries. First of all, my initials – S.L.T. – sounded out the word slut. That fact was minor compared to the more obvious connection between my last name and all the things that we were learning in health class. Between the ages of 11-18, for all intensive purposes my name Suzy Testa might as well have been Suzy Testicles. I dreamed of the day when I’d get married and could take on my husband’s less embarrassing last name. Except, as one of my clients lovingly pointed out to me this week, I “didn’t win that lottery.”
Okay, so now my last name is Spears. And for the longest time I thought I was out of the woods and in the clear. Sure, it easily relates back to Britney. But I’ll take that over male genitalia, right? Except I hadn’t foreseen one little snafu.
This past Thursday I mentioned my blog to my personal trainer. I was referencing my posting Restoring dignity at the gym because – once again! – I found myself in a position where I had to tuck my pant legs into my socks. (So elegant.) My friend is building a website for me so that I can get out from under Google and run my own page.
CJ, “What are you going to call it… suzannaspears.com?”
Me, laughing, “NO.”
CJ, chuckling, “It has a nice ring to it.”
Now, I knew why I was laughing. I was laughing because of course I’d reference Square Piece in the address. But I didn’t know why he was laughing. And then it hit me. You see, six years ago I joined my current salon and my coworkers googled me, the new girl. That’s when I found out…
Me, “Are you laughing because Susana Spears is a porn star?”
Big smile, still chuckling, CJ says, “Yeah.”
Me, “I’ve just lost a little respect for you.”
CJ, “No! It’s just… I’ve heard that she’s a porn star.”
Me, “Oh, you’ve HEARD?”
Right. Because that’s how men know about porn stars. They hear about them. This is just great.
(By the way, if you found yourself laughing or smiling while reading this post, don’t forget that you can subscribe to Square Piece. Look on the upper right sidebar on your screen. You should be able to enter your email address to receive notifications of when new posts are published!)