When I was born, my parents gave me the name Cynthia Lee Newberry.
I grew up as Cindy Newberry, the oldest of five. Those years at home–studying and fighting for the bathroom and following rules–were never going to end. I would never get to live my life. And then I was gone. I went to college. I liked to study and I did well.
For a few years, I was Cynthia Newberry McDowell, married to her high school sweetheart.
Then I was Cynthia Lee Newberry again.
When I worked as an attorney, I introduced myself as Cynthia. Who would hire an attorney named Cindy? When I first met my husband-to-be, I was introduced as Cynthia. After we had gone out a couple of times, I said, “Look, if this is going to go anywhere, you have to call me Cindy.”
I became Cynthia Newberry Martin.
Last January at a spa, at the beginning of a class on breathing, we went around the room and each person said her name. When it was my turn, I said my name was Cynthia Martin. And the instructor said, “Are you sure?”
My name is Cynthia Newberry Martin. I am a woman with family: parents and siblings, a husband and children, in-laws and grandchildren. I am a writer. And I am learning how to talk about myself. I am learning how to tell my story.
I really like your Newberry last name! It’s as fresh as a fruit, a berry 🙂 I enjoyed reading this very much, how you grew up, Cindy!
Thank you, Lily! I hope you’ll be back.
Names are a funny thing sometimes. Of course, it’s typical for the familiar nickname to be what we grow up with. It sounds to me like your husband prefers Cynthia and you grew into appreciating it 🙂
I know I have trouble changing what I call people once I’m introduced one way and it stays that way for a while. My son introduced us to Suzanne (now his wife) when they were in high school. My parents and I never called her anything else, but her family mostly calls her Suzy. Of course, my son calls her many things, but no matter how many times I hear “Suzy,” it’s not something I naturally call her.
As for me, I was called Dee by a few people many years ago, and a couple of people actually called me Don, but Donna is pretty much it 🙂
Don’t forget Donna Marie!
Actually, my husband only called me Cynthia for those first 10 days or so. Now, in my writing life, I seem to be growing into Cynthia–or Cyn as some call me and which I like. I should have mentioned that in the post. And my grandchildren call me CC–which I like too : )
True, but most people through my life have simply used Donna. Not that I mind Donna Marie! It’s just more formal sounding, right? Of course, there are things about it that I like: my grandfather often called me by Donna Marie, my sis-in-law always refers to me as Donna Marie, and if I ever get published, I may omit my last name and Donna Marie may very well be IT! lol Btw, my d-in-law’s mom is Cynthia, also called Cyn 🙂
Naming is so fiercely personal. Just before I got married (in a very conservative part of Virginia), a co-worker asked me what my new name was going to be. The thought of taking my then-fiance’s name was so far from my mind that I didn’t even understand the question. When she explained, I was stunned at the possibility that anyone would ever expect me to call myself anything but the three names I was given at birth. To me they seem immutable. And I have no idea why. But I am selfishly glad you didn’t take that path, b/c I can’t imagine a nicer author name than Cynthia Newberry Martin. It’s so damn literary.
Oh this made me smile. I’ve never thought of my name as literary before…But it is damn long, so long I couldn’t fit it in the allotted slots for a twitter name. Anyway, glad you were out there picking up the feminist thread I dropped with the whole name thing.