My Name is Beth

Every now and again a blogger will get the idea that it’s time to tell the world a little bit about themselves.  Sometimes they’re prompted by an award that demands they answer a specific number or set of personal questions.  Other times it’s a meme that’s inspired their latest outpouring.  For me, today, it’s a combination of things: my sketch class and a few recent encounters, which is why I’ve decided to post two facts about myself.

My name is Beth

I know it’s a difficult and overly complicated name, but there you have it.  It’s Beth.  Well, it’s Elizabeth if you really must know.  Blame my parents who got it in their heads to name me after an elderly relative.   They didn’t realize at the time that it was one of those names that should have been retired at the turn of the century (the last century, well, the one before that) like its outdated counterparts: Harriet, Matilda, Almira and Dorcas.

You really don’t meet many Beth’s these days and in all honestly you’d probably be hard-pressed to name a single famous person who carries that name or it’s more proper form, Elizabeth.  No monarchs, no actresses, no politician’s wives.  I know, I’m typing that sentence and can’t think of a single one.

Lately, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve found myself repeating this phrase: “No, I’m Beth”.  This usually comes after the person has run through all the names of the people in the room and they’re still drawing a blank. “No, still not David.  Nope, not Angie either.  Yep, it’s Beth.  No, I’m pretty sure.”

This happened at the recent family reunion where I had 5-6 people shouting my step-mother’s name at me.  Their repeated chant of her name grew progressively louder as it occurred to them that I clearly didn’t know my own name.  I finally looked up, with some heavy prompting from a friend, and said “I’m Beth”.  They all looked a bit flustered trying to decide if I’d sassed the lot of them in some way and then seemed to forget why hollering at me had become so important. “Did that girl just say “Beth”? No manners, that one to say ‘Beth’ in public like that.  Gets that from her mother’s side.  Mmm hmm. Her daddy should have raised her better.  ‘Beth’ indeed. I have the mind to ‘Beth’ her in a minute.” Finally, and a little more timidly, someone asked, “Beth, would you like some ice cream?” as they tried that “Beth” out on their tongues for the first time.

This also happens in my sketch class, but it’s a little more understandable.  I’ve only taken classes from this instructor for a short period of time, something like 34 weeks (8 months and some change, if you’re counting) – hardly time to really get to know someone.  Plus, the class is packed.  I think we’re up to 5 people.  Honestly, I can’t keep up with their names either.

Now, I do accept that it may not only be the odd name; it could actually be my plain face.  I mean I kind of blend with the purple running through my hair and the heavy framed glasses, but what’s a girl to do to stand out?

So, I decided to make things easier on folks and went to CaféPress and made the following shirt that I’ve now worn to class:

The actual shirt I had made.

I find its really helped.  Although, truth be told, my classmates and friends still stumble over all of the syllables.  Sadly, there’s not much I can do to make my name any less complicated.

I am under 50

Not that there’s anything wrong with being over 50.  Some of my favorite people are over 50.  I just don’t happen to be there quite yet.  Here’s an example of some of the questions/comments I’ve been asked as recently as last week:

“Is this gift for your 50th anniversary?” (Not only am I not 50, I’m actually not old enough to be of an age where I could celebrate my 50th anniversary.  Sure, I come from hillbilly stock, but even my family was only willing to go so far.  They couldn’t afford the dowry.)

“Wow, I wasn’t even born then.” (Neither was I. This was after I told the clerk the anniversary gift was for my in-laws.)

“Is this your daughter?” (Asked of me when a friend of mine, who happens to be 4 years younger, and I went out to eat.  No, she’s not my daughter.  While I think I was an amazing 4 year old, I wasn’t quite up to birthin’ babies; the physiology was all wrong and we weren’t “that” family.)

“Aren’t you a member of AARP?” (Actually asked about 10 years ago when I could say I wasn’t 40.)

Now, there was this brief period when I loved being thought of as older.  That was 8th grade when a staff member at my Jr. High mistook me for a student teacher, but that thrill ended on that day. Over the next 4 years of school I had to explain on more than one occasion that no, I did not pay the teacher rates for school lunches.  This is probably why I eventually stopped eating school cafeteria food (or maybe it was the quality of the food).  Sure, there were benefits to looking older.  I was never carded.  I could slip into the occasional R rated movie and there may have been a time that a certain restaurant did serve me margaritas when I was 16, that was cool.

I came to the conclusion long ago (after about 16). Looking older: mostly great when you are 16 and want a margarita before you slip in to see “Porky’s Revenge” (and not paying teacher’s rates for food or arguing at the pool that you pay the teen rate), not so great when you’re trying to explain to a store clerk that you’re not actually in your 70’s.

Me at 70! (Well, me at 67 – what a difference a few years can make.)

There you have it – two unsolicited facts about me.  Now it’s your turn. Tell me something about you!

8 thoughts on “My Name is Beth

  1. Your post made me laugh out loud this morning – you have a lovely style of writing and a wit about you that I enjoy. I like the name Beth. Of course our Queen here in the UK is Elizabeth and it’s her diamond jubilee this year so maybe it should be Beth’s year too. I wonder if they call her Beth when she’s sitting watching the TV with her feet up.

    So you’ve thrown down the gauntlet and asked your readers to tell you something about them – so here goes. I swear this is true (but then you know that about me). As a carer, full time employee, mum etc, etc life can sometimes overwhelm me – but I have a little secret. Recently when I felt overwhelmed I asked my boss if I could finish up early – no problem there – all of us go the extra mile and he knows that. Here’s the thing though I didn’t tell anyone else. I went to the cinema, bought a ticket to see The Kings Speech and sat there in the darkness with my shoes off enjoying the film. I got home at the usual time (feeling somewhat refreshed I might add) cooked dinner and carried on as normal. My own wee guilty pleasure.

    A couple of months later I was cooking dinner and my husband arrived home with a DVD for us to watch – The Kings Speech. I think I blushed – he thought it was a hot flush (or I think you say flash). I at supper and watched the moving and didn’t say a word. So there you go – something about me that nobody knows. 😆 P/S don’t tell my husband – hee, hee. Well, us carers need to kick back now and then and hey, it was nice not to have to share my popcorn 😉

  2. Beth says:

    I’ve often wondered that, too. Do Phillip and her closest friends ever call the Queen “Beth”, “Bess”, “Betty” or maybe “Liz”? Hopefully, it’s not always ‘Cabbage” if “The Queen” got it right. Maybe it’s me, but I’d prefer not to have my name shortened to a vegetable. I don’t want to one day be known as “Cauliflower” or “Kale”, although “Kale” doesn’t sound so bad, but “Swiss Chard” would be going too far.

    I love it that you had a secret escape to the movies after an overwhelming day! How perfect! (I promise not to tell.) I’ve often thought that would be a wonderful little escape – just me alone in the cinema with a bag of popcorn and hopefully an entire row to myself in the middle of the day. I also love it that you’ve made this secret yours and yours alone. A bit of your mishievous side poking through again. 🙂 Thank you for sharing! And again, I promise not to let on, but I may smile the next time I see “The King’s Speech” on one of our channels.

    I hope you’re having a beautiful day in Iverness!

    • Thank you for your discretion my lovely blogging buddy. I often felt it was too good an experience to keep to myself so it was nice that I made you smile and will continue to do so each time The Kings Speech comes on one of your channels. Life is for living, but also for laughing. Inverness is beautiful today and I feel blessed to live in the Highlands. I’m not heading to the cinema today but off home to take care of my charges….. there might be a cinema day coming up soon though, will keep you posted 😉

      • Beth says:

        I may have to join you in spirit. And I make this pledge to you, because I’m kicking myself now, I will never drop that “n” in Inverness again. I can’t believe I keep forgetting it. Poor Inverness. It’s like the “Beth” of cities. 🙂

  3. Im still trying to wrap my mind around what I *think* this blog post meant … Do you mean to tell me you ARENT Tremela?!?!? I need to go sit down!

    ps Tikki is Beth and now my brother Keith is hitched to a Beth … so we clarify with “Our Beth” or “Keiths Beth” … Now I have to add “MY Beth” (Thats right Missy! I now claim you for H8lings everywhere) I do not call the Queen “My Beth” … I believe this might make her cranky.

    • Beth says:

      Wee, I’ll always be Tremela-la-la-la! When I worked with a Beth, I was called “the good Beth”, which was a little hurtful since I wanted to be “the bad Beth” – she seemed to be having all the fun while I tended to follow all the rules. I guess I should be glad I wasn’t “the boring Beth” or “the rules stickler Beth” BUT it’s a great honor to be “YOUR Beth” – to be claimed by the original h8ling means I’ve finally arrived and might one day earn “the bad Beth” title. I think the Queen would be fine with being your Beth, too – just don’t call her “Grams McTicklePants”. I’ve heard that doesn’t go over so well.

  4. Love the t-shirt ( and the post)
    Actually I know quite a few Beths – (ages 8 to 30) (Shudder, better Beth than Bessie – shudder again)
    Do kids ever like their own names? Maybe it would be better and let the kid “discover their true name” like some cultures do at a certain age. Once that feels comfortable.
    Anyway thanks for today’s chuckles

    • Beth says:

      You’re welcome!

      When I was a kid, I wanted to be named Crystal. For some reason (probably thanks to Crystal Gayle and her gorgeous hair) I thought it was the most beautiful name ever and I’d pretend that was my name – writing it with a big flourish. Now the only part of my name I truly can’t stand is my first name, which my friends have all been threatened to not say in my presence. Well, and any time someone breaks out in a KISS song. Now my middle name, I don’t mind nor the nickname that comes from it. I’m most definitely a Beth. The thing that baffles me is why people can’t remember my name is Beth. It’s reasonable popular, it’s short, it’s not particularly hard to say. It’s seems strange to me that it’s forgettable. After I wrote this post, my teacher who is mentioned above (the one I’ve had 8 months of classes with) called me by another student’s name again on Tuesday. I just stared at him and then beat him up a bit until he apologized. You see, about 6 weeks ago he had a photo taken of us on the night I first wore the “Beth” shirt. He’s killing me!

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great weekend and staying cool! (They’re expecting the temps to go up into the 100’s here.)

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