Sunday, August 26, 2007

What's in a name?
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Okay, I am totally cheating on this. The above is for my first name and maiden name (apparently my maiden name is the 9752nd most popular last name in the U.S. while my married name is 129th most popular last name). When I did it with my married name it came up with 1. I do love my married name and it's ease of use. For a girl who had to spell her first, middle and last names all growing up, having a last name like my married one is a welcomed change.

I have always loved my first name. I feel like it's uniquely mine. I know other Mendy's exist (I'm even related to one: Michael's mom's husband's daughter's daughter, got that?) but I've never met one.

And I like it that way. Once when I was at BYU, a girl came over to my apartment for a study group with my roommate and she saw our message board. "There's a 'Mendy' who lives here?" she asked incredulously. I happily cried, "That's me!" Then she went on to explain that she, too, had a roommate named Mendy. I quickly said, "Well, I don't want to meet her. I've never met another Mendy and I don't want to now." She gave me a funny look and went on with her study group. Then next time my roommate hosted the study group, this gal came up to me and said, "I talked to my roommate Mendy and she said that she doesn't want to meet you, either!" Now, that's a girl I can relate to!

I am not trying to sound unfriendly or snobby, but my name has always been mine and mine alone. I cannot image being in a large group, hearing my name and turning to see that someone was actually calling the girl next to me. It's just unfathomable to me. (By contrast, my Michael's number on the census search is 2758--no wonder we get phone calls for the wrong Michael all the time!)

Whenever my mom is with me when I introduce myself to someone new she apologizes to me. The conversation can easily go like this:

Me: My name is Mendy.

New Person: Mindy?

Me: No, Mendy.

New Person: Mandy?

Me: No, it's actually "Mendy" with an "e."

New Person: OH, Wendy!

Me: No, Mendy. M-E-N-D-Y.

I have learned that I can shorten this whole process by just spelling it from the get-go.

Lots of people wonder if my name is short for anything. It's not. When my mom was pregnant with me, she wanted to name me Abigail and call me Abby (if I was a girl, of course) but my dad wasn't on board. Then, my mom's best friend's husband said, "You know what name I think is nice? Mendy." And that's where it came from. My mom swears by this story, but "Uncle Alan" denies it and now claims that he'd never heard the name before in his life. The controversy!

There are two categories of people who understand and accept my name immediately upon hearing it: children and foreigners. I think it's because they don't have years of only Mindy/Mandy/Wendy being ingrained in their brains.

It used to really annoy me when people said my name incorrectly. In college, I met some people who would just call me Mindy because they said it was "easier." I actually had a couple of guys ask me what the big deal was when I corrected them on how to say my name. They said, "It's just a vowel!" to which I responded, "Yes, Jiff (or Mitt) it is 'just a vowel,' but it makes all the difference, doesn't it?" I do let it slide more these days; I think there are several people at church, for instance, who call me Mindy. Oh, well.

So, that's the extra-large scoop on my first name. It's unusual; I love it. Sometimes it's a pain (like when people think it's a typo and "correct" it for me) but I wouldn't trade it for any other name. I hope all my kids like their names as much as I like mine!


Jenni said...

You really are lucky to love your name - and its a great name! Its SO cool that you've never met another Mendy. With a name like Jenni, well there's just no way to not look around in a crowd all the time when someone says your name. I DO like the sound of my name tho, except for that long... long year when Forest Gump was so popular!! :)

Joni said...

It's great to have a less common name, I think. While I've definitely heard about other Jonis, I've never met one. While I love the name "Sara," she'll certainly be sharing it throughout her life:)

Anonymous said...

Despite believing for my entire life that only Grandmas were named Esther. I have met quite a few my age in recent years. It took me a while to love my name (mostly because of the Grandma bit). And with my new last name of Sienknecht, I too get to have 0 people with my full name. I am sorry that people think it is o/k to call you the wrong name. I had that problem when I was teaching and changed from Miss Hunter to Mrs. Sienknecht (the parents continued to call Miss Hunter because it was easier). But that was only for a few months, I can't imagine an entire lifetime.


Tracy said...

When I told my mother about you, she thought your name was Mandy, like the Barry Manilow song that we love so much. I was tempted to let her think that was your name because she was so excited. But then I had to break her heart and say no, it's M-e-n-d-y. She likes you anyway!

Kellie said...

Here here to the unique spelling. Yours is even more unique than mine because that all important vowel has a totally different sound. Yay for you. After all this, when Eric and I were at the Safeway on Saturday night, the checkout girl was named Kellie. She was tickled pink. I hope you never meet one accidentally, so your streak can stay alive. :o)

The Tidwell Family said...

Mendy, I love your name! It suits you perfectly. I loved your long post about it, it made me want to do one also. =)

Jann said...

Very fun post. It is great to be an original.

Deb said...

what's your middle name that you always have to spell? i have (or had) a relatively normal name and still always had to spell it growing up.

Cami said...

Awesome. You know, there were several Camilles I knew (but I hardly went by that name) and I even had a best friend named Kami for a while, but for some reason I just don't actually register that it's the same name as mine! How funny. Still, it must be nice to have a completely unique name.

Oh! I DID actually hear someone call "Cami" and turn the other day, only to realize she was calling to a little girl! Now THAT is weird. No one names their kids Cami or Camille anymore it seems.

Mendy said...


It's Leigh. I don't really care for it, especially in combo with my first name. I think it sounds too hick-like. Imagine a southern accent and then, "Mendy Leigh, git in here and shuck this corn! Mendy Leigh!" See what I mean?

Corinne said...

I hear you on name pronounciation. Usually if they hear me they can do it - but if they read it - no chance :)

Sally said...

Thank you for the explanation! I like your name. To me it doesn't sound unusual, but if I try to think of another Mendy I guess I can't. Not many people have mine either, but I have met at least 5. That's cool that you haven't ever met another one.

Rachelle Hughes said...

I can vividly remembring you spelling your name out for people. Thanks for the great mEndy memory.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mendy! I hope you don't count this as meeting another Mendy as this isn't face to face, but I just wanted to leave you a note to tell you that I'm happy someone else out there is as grateful as I am to have this name! Not to sound cheesy, but I feel the EXACT same way about having the name Mendy - the way you described the whole Mindy/Mandy/Wendy this was absolutely on the ball. I can even hear my DAD sometimes call me something that sounds like Mindy... And no, I've never met another Mendy either - and I'd also like to keep it that way :). Oh, and our parents must have been on the same wavelength with the middle name as I'm a Mendy Leigh as well :). Anyway, thanks for the post - never have words rung truer to my ears. Here's to a very special name that only a few of us share!! Thanks, Mendy! ~Mendy

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