April 17, 2011

A Lauren By Any Other Name

I don't really know why, but I've never really been fond of the name Lauren for myself. I like it better now that I'm obsessed with the Gilmore Girls, because of Lauren Graham but I didn't start watching that till 6ish years ago. Before that, one day, I decided that I just wanted to change my name. Not legally or anything, cause that's extreme. I just wanted to be called something else that was sort of related to Lauren (I think one of the things I don't like is that there's no nickname that is derived naturally from Lauren), but better. It was probably when I was watching Legally Blonde for the nth time that I had an epiphany and chose the name Elle. It was genius (I thought). So I announced this to all my friends and family that I now want to be called Elle.

Then I signed up for "Ballroom Dance," one of Penn State's "gym" classes. It was awesome but that's not the point. I determined that this would be a great class to announce that I use a name other than my given name because I wouldn't know anyone and wouldn't find myself in other classes with them since it wasn't one of my Major classes. 

On the first day, the teacher rounded us up and took attendance. As she went down the list, I found that there was two other Laurens. This convinced me that I should just suck it up and do it since I now had the excuse (more for me than anyone else) that it would be less confusing to have one less Lauren.
And the teacher just accepted it like it was normal, which for her, it was. I found it hilarious that now all these people would think that was my name. 
I filled out my name tag, which was to be worn every class, and felt terrbly silly. 

I put it on and felt terribly silly.
And as the weeks went by I got used to it and stopped feeling so weird about it. Or so I thought. I guess it just just because the teacher was the only one who ever addressed me by name so aside from putting on my name tag every day, there wasn't a lot drawing my attention to these people thinking that my name was Elle outside of this class too. 

Until I ran into one of them on campus. It was in one of the little "convenience stores" that was within one of the cafeteria buildings. And because he saw me before I saw him and he came up behind me and addressed me by name.
Somehow I recognized that I was the "Elle" he was talking to and turned around in a timely manner, but it was the weirdest thing ever and could barely contain myself. After this experiment I determined that I just couldn't handle the process of doing this in every class so I gave up and will forever be known as Lauren.


  1. Ha ha, that's great! I hated my name when I was a kid, and whenever my friends and I played make believe, I'd insist on being called Victoria. God knows why - it's not really a great improvement on my full name!!

  2. People tried giving me the nickname Shanny, as if that's somehow related to Shannon. Um, no.

    Could Laur be shortened for Lauren?

  3. @Kirsti: I used to want to change my name to Kristy (from the Baby Sitters Club books) and then Elizabeth (don't know why). Elizabeth sure has a lot of nicknames that come from it so too bad that never happened.

    @Shannon: Yeah but it's not very catchy. My mom calls me Lor and my dad calls me Laurie or Lor-Lor. So I prefer that my friends don't join in on those.

  4. I like Lauren!

    And I also like that you wore your name tag on your skirt. ;)

  5. I often encounter the opposite situation. When my parents agreed to name me Elizabeth, my dad ordained that I would be called "Liddy", so that "when I go to pick her up from school I can call her name without every little girl turning around", and it's now more my name than Elizabeth. In some of my community college classes I just let the teachers call me "Elizabeth" if they don't ask if there is an alternative, since I'd rather be called Elizabeth than mistakenly called "LiBBy". It's a handy thing, though, because then I know if somebody is calling "Elizabeth" they are callings somebody else or just a misled school acquaintance and therefore not very important.

  6. I once was Elvis for a day. It was at Universal Orlando, and whenever they asked my name for the ET ride, I said Elvis. Later that day, we were at a show that was asking for volunteers and me and my roommate were selected. When they asked our names, I said Elvis and then the guy who asked was like "Elvis has left the building". That was an interesting day.

  7. I can't even imagine calling you Elle!! I find it hard to call people by other things once I know them long enough by one name. To this day I still refer to all my married friends by their maiden names. If I met you as Jane Smith I will call you Jane Smith until you die even if you are now Jane Doe.

    PS I also hated my name when I was younger because people messed it up all the time. Now I'm so used to being called random variations of my name I don't even notice/care anymore.

  8. http://perpetuallyashley.blogspot.com
    To ANYONE: If you visit my blog and follow me, I'll love you forever, will probably follow your blog as well, and of course, I will read it and feel very happy because I know that people are reading what I write :) Now to the actual comment part.

    It's funny that I've just found this, as I have recently been dubbed "El Ashley" or simply just "Elle". (my middle initial is L, and someone found it cool to call me by my middle initial). I'm still a bit ambivalent about it, but it is funny to find someone else who has used the nickname "Elle" as their name. It also provides me a bit of anonymity on the web- since I don't feel particularly comfortable with putting my last name out there, and so many sites ask for a first and last name, which I absolutely hate.

  9. @Liddy: So then you know, yeah it's annoying when you have to train yourself to not react every time you hear your name.

    @Rob: HAHAHhha nice.

    @Ebun: I'm the exact same way!

  10. I've never really loved the name Lauren for myself either, but I guess I like it a little better now. One of my friends online is named Lauren and because of Gossip Girl and stuff where people call each other by the first letter of their name people called her L, which she changed to Elle, so when you called yourself Elle it was kinda like a nickname! haha, I like your drawings and the story! I've never been brave enough to tell anyone to call me anything else.
    On a side note, a ballroom dancing class sounds awesome!

  11. @Lauren II: It was! I wish I could take it again.