Tuesday, May 5, 2015

365 True Things: 38/Names

When I go to a Starbucks and they ask me my name, usually they don't ask if it's Anne with an E; they just write down either Ann or Anne. I'm always surprised when they get it right. I assume it's because they have an Anne in their own life.

Though maybe it's because of Anne Frank or Anne Hathaway or Anne Boleyn or Anne of Green Gables.

I was named after my grandmother, Annie Hooten Skinner. She hated the name Annie and forbade my father to call me that—which of course he did. But I like the name Annie: it's less serious than Anne (or, even more so, Ann).

No one today, however, ever calls me Annie. Nor do I feel like an Annie. I am serious. I wish I was more fun, but I'm just not.

My father actually wanted to call me Gretchen. Gretchen Geissman. Can you imagine? Thank goodness my mother won out.

My middle name was Elizabeth—after my father's sister. Now I use my maiden name as my middle name. It reminds me better who I am. (It also means "goatherd," and I happen to love goats.)

When David and I traveled in Japan for our honeymoon, students would practice their English on us. The girls would ask my name, then nod eagerly and exclaim: "Ah, Green Gables of Anne!" It was endearing. The boys would yell, "This is a pen!"—which wasn't.


  1. I call you Annie. Mostly in my mind...

  2. This made me laugh: I am serious. I wish I was more fun, but I'm just not.

    Net: I think you're fun as heck. (Whatever heck is!)

  3. I love the name Gretchen. I grew up living next door to a Gretchen. I also love goats…… but I never guessed you did.