Wellness Today–Dub Thee Well

Today’s writing prompt bothers me. It bothers me so much that I let Peaco sleep late. There was no point in getting him up for:

If you could change your name, what would you choose and why?

Whaddya mean if I could? Anyone can change his or her name. (Sigh) So that was a stupid part of the question. Most people work out this issue when they name their own children. I had no children to name but I’ve changed my own name a bunch of times by getting married. But that was just the last half of the name. The rest of it went through many incarnations without anyone ever insinuating that it couldn’t be done.

I shortened my first name in high school and stuck and “ie” on the end of it. When I turned eighteen I decided this sounded juvenile so I went back to my given name.

There was a brief period of time during the summer between high school and college when a family from church decided to unofficially adopt me.  My entire family had recently packed up and moved out of state. I decided to stay behind to start my new adult life. I was already a legal adult so the unofficial adoption part was a literal technicality. I moved in with the family. The parents began introducing me as their adopted daughter. My adopted brothers called me their Sorta Sister.

For a while I entertained the idea of changing my name to unofficially match the family’s name. I figured while I was at it I would change my full name. I chose the first name Charity. It didn’t stick. The adoption didn’t stick. The living arrangement didn’t stick either. My adopted mother got pissed at me and threw me out of the adopted house. I moved in with a different family and we all kept better boundaries. Paying rent was one of them.

When the internet was born I needed an online identity for my first email account so I went with one of the many nicknames given to me over the years. I kept it as my pen name for a decade and then changed that too. Once again I felt I’d outgrown it. My current pen name is Mercy Manades, a choice I made after months of deliberation. It feels like my last name change.

A few years ago I was given a pseudo-tribal name. It was Princess Chilly Waters. Only my Steeples will remember the story. I’ve never done much with the name other than tell the story. I guess it is still with me. While contemplating this post I joked in the coffee drive-thru, “Princess Chilly Waters needs to visit Princess Roasted Waters.” See photo above if you don’t get it.

Peaco’s name was given to him by his creator, David Horvath. Although many of the Ugly Dolls I adopted out had their given names changed by their adoptive parents, I opted to keep Peaco’s name intact. He’s never complained about it or suggested that it is lacking in any way. He’s definitely not outgrowing it. Together we deem this prompt lame and fully satisfied.

Sunday’s prompt:

Write about killing a character.

— Mercy

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