'What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.'
From the innocent view of a young woman experiencing first love (And tragically in Juliet's case - her last love as well), Shakespeare tackles the importance of a name. And he's right - A rose surely would smell as sweet if it was named....say... 'A Tose'. Not much of an argument there. BUT having said that... we all know how incredibly validating it feels when a random acquaintance remembers our name at a party, or how frustrating it is when someone misspells/mispronounces our name, or even worse - forgets it all together...
My name is a unique one here in the United States.
'Tamar' isn't a name one hears often in the streets of Los Angeles, or New York City, Or pretty much anywhere in this country. But when my parents named me - they didn't think they were giving me an unusual name. Not one bit. See, in Israel the name 'Tamar' is a 'fairly common yet classic' name you will find in your third grade teacher, teenage girl selling you adidas shoes in the mall, or the real estate agent that shows you your apartment. 'Tamar' stands though the test of time as generations of yesteryear had this biblical name, as well as the tech savvy generations of tomorrow. It's not trendy by any means, but it's a classic. Like a good ole' Chanel. It's always there.
So imagine my surprise when I moved to the states and began the journey of explaining and constantly correcting my name... I didn't see it coming. And I STILL don't. Years later I am still surprised when I get the emails or texts or the in-person (Pre-covid, when face to face meet ups actually existed!) mispronunciation of my name. Many times in the past I have NOT corrected people, and felt the 'post shame' of that, and other times I've corrected people and felt the awkward discomfort in that. So no matter how you look at it - it's hardly a 'win-win' situation...
For years I said to myself 'What's in a name!?' and told myself not to be bothered when someone would call me TAMARA even after I would correct them. It would often be TARA as well. (Really? TARA!? Ok.) And don't even get me started on TAMMY.
Anyways, clearly - this is a pet peeve that I an not ready to 'let go' of yet.
Time and self-reflection will help shift that, hopefully. Or it might not.
But if you ask ME 'what's in a name'? I'd definitely say "LOTS."
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman