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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Struggles of Having an Uncommon Name


Anita bath. Anita friend. Anita life. Anita new haircut. I've gotten it all. 

When it comes to have a weird or unique name, it isn't all sunshine and daisies. Growing up with a not-so-popular name has its downfalls, including not being able to get a name necklace like every girl in the 1990's. I could get a name necklace, however, they were few and far between. You could walk into a gas station and buy name necklaces, rings, bracelets or even coffee mugs with the common names like Amanda, Jessica, Brianna, Nicole, Samantha, Jenn, Gianna...you get the point. Speaking of coffee mugs, here is a little story for you that sums up my childhood struggles with my name which can be found in every Spanish textbook in school.

Disney. 1999. Nine-years-old. Family trip. Humid as hell. 

Here comes cry baby Anita throwing a tantrum in a souviner shop because all three siblings got a name necklace or toys besides me. My siblings (names Ron, Julia and Samantha) have no problem finding their perfect name memorabilia with Disney vomit all over it but nope, not Anita. Instead, I made my parents tote me around Animal Kingdom just to find something somewhat personalized for me and what do I end up getting? A coffee mug with my name on it that my father played off like it was a gold plated chalice. Props to Paulie B because he used that damn mug everyday which made me not as bitter about him naming me Anita. If it were up to him, I would have been named Conchetta— the Italian version of Constance— so I think Anita isn't as bad...right?  I do, however, plan on having my first daughter's middle name be Conchetta just for my dad and to keep the nonconventional name tradition going. 

I have and continue to get teased for my name, including customers I wait on either at my previous coffee shop job or as a waitress. The "Anita another drink" or "Anita menu" always gets the same reply from me..."Anita new joke." Everyone who says it thinks they are the first person to say it when honestly, I've heard that overused joke maybe 100 times in my life. Get new material and get out of my face.


Apparently the spelling of my name is difficult for some people. The amount of letters I have gotten in the mail from god knows who, spell it like Aneeta or Anetia. You would think a five-letter name would be that simple. I guess not.

In the rare occurrence my my name is used, I felt like it was a personalized shout out. Like in 101 Dalmatians with Anita Darlingggg. I had a plethora of clothes and toys from this movie because it was the only thing I could latch onto with my name. I still want a dalmatian to this day and if they weren't aggressive towards children, I would have already had one. One can dream.


As I got older, songs had my name in it but were referring to Anita Baker like in Twista's Slow Jamz or Lil' Wayne's Upgrade U Freestyle. I started to think songs said my name when it didn't, like in Run it by Chirs Brown. Turns out, he was singing "indeed I can run it" not "Anita can run it." I'd like to think otherwise.

The once unique names are making a comeback with the next baby generation all being named Sophia, Mia, Olivia and Avery (according to www.babycenter.com) but I don't think Anita will ever have a reinvention. My name is very old-world, right next to  Ingrid and Beatrice. But hey, even though I sound ungrateful, I would rather have a strange name than an overused one. It makes me, well, me.

By the way, if only I could have found the name necklace I have pictured above. The only thing I got was a plastic looking ring with my name that broke the day I bought it. Go me! I also grew up before shopping online was prevalent and anything you wanted was at your fingertips.

Just curious...how many Anita's do you know?

#thestruggleisreal

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