January 17, 2007

You Say Kitty, I Say Catherine

There have been many times, for various reasons, that I have shared among friends how I was almost named Kitty.

As the story goes, right after I was born, when I was placed in my mom’s arms I began to purr. My mom loved this purring sound so much she almost named me Kitty. To this day, my dad maintains it was purely the mix of my mom’s jostling hormones that lead her to believe Kitty might be an acceptable name for their second daughter. My dad was never in agreement. I do not know the exact conversation that took place where in my name became Amy instead of Kitty, but I personally don’t care. I’m just glad Kitty didn’t happen because I’m almost certain with a name like that my business cards would read “Pole Dancer” instead of “Paralegal.”

For some reason, I brought this up Saturday night while my parents were in town visiting. Over our fabulous meal of Spanish tapas and sangria we all laughed at how I almost was named Kitty. And through my mother’s chuckles, she said, “Ha. Ha. Kitty Kristin. Tee hee.” Thinking I heard her wrong in the commotion of this very loud restaurant, I said, “Wait. What did you say?” Looking a bit sheepish, she replied a little more quietly and little hesitantly, “Kitty Kristin?” and smiled an uncertain grin.

I shook my head and this time firmly asked,” Mom, what’s my middle name?” Turning to my dad as she mulled over the correct answer, he looked almost as bewildered as she. He mumbled something along the lines of “Kristin, wait no. Catherine? Right?” Then my mom chimed in, “Yes. Catherine. Nicole Kristin (my sister’s name) and Amy Catherine. Right.” And then she uneasily laughed again. I could not believe it. My mother had just forgotten my own middle name. That is not a lesson any child wants to learn.

With my dad, we tend to make all kinds of concessions. My sister, mom and I don’t expect him to remember birthdays, anniversaries, our ages or his own age, for that matter. (However, he can correctly identify the make and model of most motorcycles by only their sound.) My mom, however, tracks these things on calendars, year after year, and is expected to remember on command the most inane details of mine and my sister’s childhood. So it was shocking to say the least when my dad correctly guessed my middle name before my mom.

For the sake of my mom’s embarrassment at forgetting her youngest daughter’s middle name, I should mention this conversation took place during our second pitcher of sangria in as many hours. But I also should mention one other minor detail to balance out this story. My mom’s first name is Cathy. Cathy is short for Catherine. That’s right. My middle name is my mom’s first name, which after a pitcher or so of sangria apparently is a very hard thing to remember. Perhaps, had my middle name been Kitty, it would have rolled right off her tongue.

Author's note: I realize this is the second cat-related entry I have posted in a row. I may make my next post feline-ish just to round out the tri-fecta.

No comments: