I’ve been reading SO many of these, and though my blog started out to educate about dwarfism and achondroplasia, more specifically… let’s be honest: I LOVE TO WRITE and I love to write about a lot of things. I wish I had a paying gig… heck, I’d write about toad hunting 363 days a year (I need Christmas and New Years off) if it paid well, but alas, I write about… c’est moi!
And so, what better way than to link up with the beautiful Rhody Bloggers, more specifically Carla? Exactly: there’s no better way. This is a series I hope to link up to weekly, that shows who we were before we were moms! As many of you might know me before I was a mom… you don’t need to chime in. (Now is the time you laugh)
Sometimes I forget who I was before I was Mrs. Martinka. But, since April 17, 2012, I forget who I was before then all the time. I forget that I went out too much, or had lots of gossiping girl friends. I forget that I wasn’t always so selfless. I forget I was in college, I was in high school, I was an athlete, musician and scholar. I forget that I began writing as a poet, who impressed every teacher in my first grade class with my rhymes.
So, I begin this series with the first prompt: How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?
My name is *GASP* “Michelle”. It’s not Chelley, or Shelly as many people want to spell it, or pronounce it “Cha-ellie”. It is, in fact, Michelle. With two ‘L’s. Ok, let’s spell it out. My name is:
Michelle (Chelley) Kathryn Joanna Worth Martinka
Growing up, I was OK with my name, but when my big sister (who I still idolize… like if she has it I have to, too. The only thing I ever did first was marry. What does she do? Marry someone younger. S*it.) came home and told me about the nickname “Shelly”, I was a gonner. She even made me a name plate in art class of clay in lots of different colors. I keep it at my parents’ house. I adore it, and someday, when I’m rich and famous, it will adorn my desk and I will laugh at those who can’t spell my nickname as I have deemed it C-H-E-L-L-E-Y, though she spelled it S-H-E-L-L-Y. Why do I spell it with a ‘C’ and an ‘ey’? Two reasons. One, my sister (duh!) told me about someone named “Chelly”. Second, I like spelling rules, and so I have my own: Drop the “Mi” add a “y”. So Michelle becomes Chelley. Yeah, I’m a bit grammar-obsessed. I also love commas,,,,,,, and ellipses…
Moving along! I got my name from my Dad and my sister. I won’t go into detail as the story of being named on the way to a Flyers’ game is painful. One: Pelle Lindbergh was pronounced dead the day after my 1st birthday. I have the newspaper from Philadelphia Inquirer from November 10, 1985 which tells of his accident. Headliner. Two: What the heck is up with the NHL this year. Football? See ya! Basketball? Ummmm… No thank you. Whatever other sports there are, which there aren’t: BYE! Where is my hockey?! Now that the NHL is back, I feel better, but I am bitter.
The tale goes, I was really little and being born in the 80’s they let parents take their children out of the house before they were 30, so my parents thought hey, let’s bring her to a hockey game! Little did they know, I would later become an addict. On the way to the game, they realized they had not settled on a final name, but had been calling me “Mickey”… yep, like the mouse. Somehow, they landed on “Michelle”. A choosing of my Dad and sister. Mom got the middle name of “Kathryn”, after a great aunt. I love the different spelling. I guess I was destined to like different spellings from the beginning.
Although I have no always loved it, I’m glad that my name wasn’t something else I had chosen growing up.
At one point, I wore a dog mask around the house and demanded my mother call me “Trixie”.
At another point in my life, while on summer vacation, I thought that it would be fun to tell boys my name was “Jaycie”. Why? Because I wanted to be Jaycie Phelps. Oddly, I was always too tall to be a serious gymnast.
Growing up a Worth woman, I will always love my maiden name and take great pride in the fact that my father loved my first name. He chose it, after all. But, as a married woman, I love being Michelle Martinka. My sister calls me “m&m”. I have a voice mail from her that starts, “hello my m&m,” that I’ve saved for over a year. It’s a part of me. I will always be “Chelley”, but when I am Michelle, or Mrs. Martinka, I like it well enough!