Monday, September 10, 2012

Identity Crisis

Yesterday's soccer game marked the beginning of a new season. A new season usually brings a few new players, as others drop off of our team for one reason or another.

"You must be Aly!" A smiling, unfamiliar girl exclaimed as I dropped my bag onto the grass at the sidelines.

It always strikes me as odd to me when a stranger calls me Aly.

Before I arrived, one of my teammates referred to me as Aly to another friend/teammate of mine. She is new to this team, but we have played together before. And apparently not on a team where my name was shortened. "I was like Aly...Alyson?" she reported to me when I arrived, laughing.

I can understand the confusion.

I always introduce myself as Alyson. I think of myself as Alyson. I am Alyson at work. (No silly nicknames at this job like I had at my last.) I am Alyson at the dentist. I am Alyson when I join a new soccer team.

I have absolutely no problem with the shortened versions of my name. I'm fond of them, as a matter of fact. But they do catch my ear. I notice. Because mostly, largely, usually: I'm Alyson.

Except to my family.

Which makes tracing the origin of my soccer-shortened name so very easy.

My sister plays on my summer soccer team. She calls me Aly. My friend Heather, who I grew up with and who spent hours and hours with my family, plays on my summer soccer team. She calls me Aly.

And so my teammate who is on both my summer team and the team that I am currently on talks about me? She calls me Aly.

Unless she's calling me Al.

Which is what a few of my summer soccer girls call me.

And now a few of my current teammates, too.

During our game yesterday, I was called Alyson. I was called Aly. I was called Al.

I answered to all of it.

Call me whatever you like, you guys.

And tell me about your name, too.


k said...

I am not down with people calling me "Kel." Only my mom and a few select friends are allowed to call me that :)

Accidentally Me said...

Most everyone I know at all calls me by the shortened version of my name...I'm OK with it:-)

Anonymous said...

I mostly get El or E, both which don't bother me.

When I lived and worked in SW Ontario one guy at work started calling me EllieMae (no idea why) and that stuck for years. We had coed teams at the office and he and I both played on most of them, so it didn't take long for the office to be calling me that. You know the nickname has stuck when clients start calling you that.

And 15 years later, I ran into him and he immediately called me EllieMae again. It brought a smile to my face remembering all those good times from the office, golf course, ball diamond, hockey rink, and generally hanging out with co-workers who were also great friends.

- Elliott

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