“What’s in a name?”
I love my name. Laura-Jeanne. I love the hyphen. I love having two names in one. I love its uniqueness. I love the way it’s spelled.
The only down side – people getting it wrong. I’ve had some strange pronunciations and a ton of total misses over the years. I have more certificates, documents, cards, and letters with interesting substitutions than the correct spelling.
In the early 1980s, I found an acceptable substitution. “L.J.” This happened quite by chance, when I attempted to write Laura-Jeanne on a 4×3 name tag with a very large felt marker at summer camp. On my second attempt, a camp counsellor suggested: “How about L.J.?” It stuck.
Plus, I discovered in the 1990s, L.J. could be easily communicated in a noisy bar, because I can spell it with my hands. (I digress).
I was convinced this abbreviation would end my woes of being mistakenly called Lori-Jane or Mary-Jean. “Who can’t remember two letters?” asks the woman who has been called PJ, RJ, and MJ.
Recently, I have envisioned my name printed on a novel, sitting on the front table of the bookstore. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing under Laura-Jeanne. No surname. Heck, if Prince and Madonna can do it, why not me? It’s who I am.