Chelsea, Thy Name is …Aimee?

I’m in a mental crisis. For years, I knew my parents planned to name me something different than the one they switched to. They’d told me. But only yesterday did I learn that they’d intended to also NOT. USE. ITS. PROPER. SPELLING.

*Deep breaths* *Deeeep breaths*

See, a little-known fact about me is that I’m bothered by grammar and spelling errors. I certainly won’t return your birthday present over it, but I can’t help but notice. I can’t help but correct the problem.

A little-known fact about Utah Mormons* is that they are guilty of unique name spellings -including Jaxcon, Danieell, and Stephenie. Yes, these are names I’ve literally seen applied to people. I hate it.

So, naturally, upon learning that I might have not just been an Amy but might have been an Aimee, I’ve been reflecting on how my whole life would be different:

  1. I would be blonde. If not, I’m sure I’d have curls and blue eyes. At the least, I’d be cuter.
  2. If something were funny, I’d legitimately giggle.
  3. My pants size would be …well, at this point, about where it’s at. I would’ve had kids as an (*shudder*) Aimee, too.
  4. My husband would be named Michael.
  5. I’d be interested in “The Bachelor.” Heck; I’d know who The Sexiest Man Alive was instead of needing to Google it every time. Not only that, but I would actually know who he is and would likely fantasize about his running away with me on the back of …an oversized ant.
  6. I would get weekly mani-pedi‘s instead of one in my entire life.
  7. My favorite book would be the latest Eat, Pray, Love sort.
  8. I’d be a frequent shopper at that place that sells scented stuff.
  9. My children would also have unique names. I’m thinking Cashe or Leeder.
  10. Most of all, I would NOT vomit a little in my mouth every time someone spelled my name aloud.

And don’t say I’m overreacting. That would be a Karen thing to do, not an Aimee.

©2021 Chel Owens

*Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

90 thoughts on “Chelsea, Thy Name is …Aimee?

  1. I was typing out a detailed response and it disappeared so I don’t know if the unfinished comment was sent or not. Anyway – here it is again:
    At least you weren’t called Constance, Prudence, or Chastity. I was going to be called Bernard but Mum didn’t like the way people “shortened” Bernard to Barney. If you were going to be Aimee it would be the French way – Aimée – with the acute. That would be pure class.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oddball spellings of names is an irritation. Amy is fine, Aimee does read like the sound of a fireworks screaming into the sky. But there are few amongst us who would be content with the moniker we have to respond to. Anyway, as Ruth says, you wind up getting some other sobriquet anyway. Call someone Charles- good luck, Chuck. Call someone Chelsea- well, you won’t hear the half of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very funny post and entertaining comments as well! I was almost a Candace or a Lisa “Holly” instead of Lisa Kimberley. Now most people spell it “Kimberly” but not my parents, so there you go. I have never imagined my alternate self with those other names but it would be fun to do! And yes, spelling and grammar errors may as well be written in red ink. It’s my only super power.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the things I witnessed throughout my teaching career is that these variations of name spelling became much more prevalent. I taught Amy, Aime, Aimee, and Amee (all pronounced the same.) I’m aware that some of students changed the spelling of their names as adults. (I don’t know if they changed their names legally or just because.) The only ones that called me Peter were my parents, and I’m Pete with the rest of the world. It took a little while for me to get used to it, but calling you Chel instead of Chelsea no longer feels weird.

    By the way, one of my grandmothers used to proofread my letters and send them back to me. (True story. 🤣) I don’t know if my spelling and grammar improved, but Grandma got fewer letters from me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think it must be a modern trait…My mother would never answer to any shortening of her given name and if anyone tried they would get short shift from her and never dare to do it again…One of my sons’ is called Jamie because I knew if he was called James it would be shortened. that was then now it’s Jay…sigh…Although I must admit to not being as paranoid about shortening names as I was but I do question some of the more outlandish names that some parents saddle their offspring with…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How interesting.

      On a similar note, Kevin and I believe in naming the child with the full name instead of a shortened version. We know someone who named a daughter Ginny, for example, instead of Virginia; we would not do that.

      Like

  6. That made me laugh. I’m a Deborah, meant to be Debra and my brother’s a Marc, meant to be Mark. My mother often laments that she let my dad do the birth certificate paperwork 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Chel, my name was to be Robert, but I was a bit of a disappointment in the male department, so they changed it to Roberta. I’ve never been called that name, it has always been Robbie. I have no name issues but I chose good traditional names for my sons, Gregory and Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to e-mail you my list. Ours are pretty traditional as well. And I’ve always wondered if you prefer Robbie since at least one of your blogging accounts is Roberta.

      Funny story: my mother actually thought I was male. She had a dream I was to be female …but I’ve often wondered what my male name would’ve been.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have no objections to either of my names. I used Roberta for my adult books to differentiate them from my children’s books. I used Cheadle for both to please my hubby, it is important to him. I would be interested in your list. Maybe women hope for a son to please their husbands. Traditionally in SA, male children are still ‘better’.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I saw your reply and I had to reply because it is so similar to my sister. She’s named after a bird but with a fairly unique spelling.

      Anyway, I hated her name when she was a kid. Mostly because she was the baby and my mother would be yelling my name because she did something wrong. Anyway, over the course of a few months I gradually changed it on her, her kicking and screaming grow whole way. Her name was shortened to Rob, which she hated because she was a girl. When she stopped wining I changed it to Robby, again she hated it because it was a boy name. Then when she gave up with that one, she became Robert. Then Robert became Bob. Which turned into Bobby. That one she liked, and all she asked was that she wanted it to have an I. So she became Bobbi. That was 30+ years ago now. Others have heard me call her Bobbi and they don’t understand how it ended up there. She tells them if she wants to. But she doesn’t respond to anyone but me when I say it. Even my mom could scream it in her ear and she’s end up looking around for a Bobby my mom could be talking to. Or if we’re around a guy named Bobby, she will answer me every time I say his name, even from three rooms away. It’s kind of hilarious.

      I was supposed to be Princess Marie or Palm Marie. It was all agreed on. When they handed me to my mom, and asked her what my name was, she said neither of those two things, and I got my life-long moniker and would never dream of changing it. She did the same with both of my sisters. She’d spend MONTHS finding the perfect name, doodling it, looking at it on forms for school, all of it. She’s be madly in love with those names. As soon as we went on her chest, the name was something completely out of the blue and never even mentioned before. It worked for all three of us. As long as the mom feels it in that moment, spelling and all, it can be corrected later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Both good stories. I’ve not had any girls but have tried to give my boys good names they could shorten or do nicknames from easily. I’ve only felt a connection to a name with the baby twice.

        Like

        1. My mother was a strange one in that way. It was never a connection to a name with a baby. The names she picked were never even on her radar. She saw the baby and pulled the name from apparently no where because that’s who that baby was. And all of us are spelled oddly, except in my case, I just have an all around odd first name.

          My best friend would drive you crazy though. She was born “Tiffany” and hated it. She has since landed on “Tiffani” which suits her just fine. It was the hundred permutations that she went through in our teen years. My mother went to where she worked and saw her name tag, and then for the last version she dragged her away to give her hell for sounding like a deadly disease. My mom was right. She still pronounced it the same, but that one was spelled (please sit down abd swallow whatever you’re drinking because you will probably scream out in pain) “Typhahnniiey”

          I spelled that extra carefully and made sure autocorrect didn’t correct it to anything other than what was on the name tag.

          It didn’t help that my mother could never remember her middle name. A heroine no less! But she was always convinced it was Marie (not even close!) she used to go in and tell her that she HAD to change her name because she loved her and didn’t want her associated with Typhoid Mary. No matter how many times we told her that wasn’t her middle name, she insisted that no one would actually care because her name still looked like Typhoid. My mom even wrote “ bubonic” on the back of a receipt and told her to put that on a name tag and just tell everyone it was pronounced Tiffany. Eventually my friend caved. She wanted to come to thanksgiving at my moms house and my mom told her that everybody is welcome unless they are the harbinger of disease and death. They sat down together and they argued for three days before they settled on something unique enough for my friend and less horrible to my mother. “Tiphany”. They were both happy. My mom got to give an odd spelling without conjuring images of the dark days, while my friend got to keep the Y and the PH. It changed when she got her first grown up job at 25. Her boss wouldn’t put her name on her name tag without proof that was the legal spelling. It was the spelling she went by! Every document has that name as did her lines of credit. But it didn’t matter. She showed up to my mom in tears who flipped out. They had no right to rename her daughter! T didn’t want to lose the job after my mom beat up her manager, so they spent another 2 days going through every permutation. They settled on something not too far-fetched “Tyffanie” they were both ok with it. It wasn’t the dream name, but it was close enough that both were happy. She submitted for the name tag and got back “Tiffany”. She tried to argue up the chain of command that it was a typo and showed the carbon copy. They all said the same thing, they would charge her $50 for the tag change. My mother and her sat at our kitchen table and my mother found an old key that we never cut to be anything while T heated up the hot glue gun and put on the teeniest of tiny mouth things on it. My mother dutifully scrapped the offending letters off as closely to one piece as he could, while t, practiced with the hot glue gun. In the end, those things were not designed to withstand being scraped up like that.

          My mom was a Catholic School girl. She pulled out her trusty pack of assorted sharpies and found the one with the right sizes nib. She spelled it the right way, but it wasn’t right. That’s when she enlisted the rest of us to fight “the man!” She traced her own marker a second time so it was super dark. My baby sister had a dark sparkling eye shadow which she applied very carefully to each letter. Middle sister who had the steadiest hand used a light pencil to trace all of the letters all the way around to give it an equal look of shading. The T with her trust hot glue gun, took that plastic bit they had over the top and ran the thinnest line of glue all the way around and replaced that mini frame as if it was never removed. We put it aside, made dinner, are and relaxed. Before she left for the night we used some nail files to sand down the sharper glue bits and it was perfect. Out of curiosity, she did test it, and with a Cheshire Cat grin, she announced that they would have to incinerate it to get inside to see what we did. Her manager went on vacation the next day and was away a week. When they got back they flipped out because there was no record of her formally changing her name or laying $50. She got to know everyone while there and they demanded that was always her name (that’s all they knew). He couldn’t raise it up again because then it sounded like him judging her name unfairly because of preconceived notions. She still has that name tag I think. It would survive a nuclear winter, and it’s eye shadow would STILL be on fleek! Lol

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I know an Aimee. Yes, she’s a blonde, blue-eyed, adorable Mormon in Idaho with 4+ kids, but I don’t know much about the rest of her qualifications. Husband is Andy rathe than Michael, so strike 1 right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG! We are the same! My real name is a variation of the pseudonym I use online (and my real name is a slightly different spelling than the common version) and my husband suffers from the same name-shame as well. All my life, I’ve had to spell my name (my husband) as well. We are so tired of it sometimes we just allow people to assume our name spelling is the common version. So when we were pregnant with Charlotte, we both had one rule- COMMON spelling only! Yet funnily enough, please still spell it incorrectly!! I can’t win lol…

    I get that parents want their kids to stand out and be unique but I feel like this is a bit of a punishment- having to spell my name or correct people all day long is annoying. I’d rather be ordinary! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I knew I wasn’t over-reaching or -reacting. Honestly, I have to spell ‘Chelsea’ frequently so I’m not sure my parents saved me from much there.

      And I love the name Charlotte. I would use it for a girl just to be able to call her ‘Lottie.’

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve got several names. Two, I got to choose. But it was kinda weird when I went to a writers retreat and they all called me by Jules… And well with most of my family I have another nick-name. So I’m not always called by my first name either. Ma and Grama work these days. 😉

    Spelling can be an issue. Jules can be a guys name too. Which is why I paired my Jules with JulesPaige but there’s no space!!! And most folk don’t get that. Spell check certainly doesn’t.

    I feel for ya. Really. I named my children common enough names. But there is always some issue with someone wanting to call them something else that I have not intended!!!

    You can legally change your name. I have a relative who did that. (((Hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew a gal who had Aimee for a name but she put the French accent on one of the E’s…

        I also new a Mom who named her daugher Amy. Figuring it would be easy for the child to learn. But one day she came home with an art project that had YAM on it. Amy started writing her name ran out of room and put the Y in front of the A! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! Yeah. No. I was WAY off lol

        So, I’m the old movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, the main girl’s name was Amy. I don’t know how she spelled it. For all I know, her parents were both scientists and it was spelled “Newton”. Either way? In that movie, they are trapped in a lego in the back yard by a baby ant they named Anty (super original), but when it first came and attacked them (they had a cookie and it was hungry), one of the boys said to her “look, Amy, your date’s here!” 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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