Monday, January 19, 2009
What's in a name?
Ben got me new scriptures for Christmas. These are my first scriptures that have my married name on them. I like them. I like my name. It fits me. It's shorter to write and makes my initals V.P.-like vice president. I'm proud to be a Porter.
I also liked my maiden name "Armstrong". I had that name for 22 years. Unlike some people who don't like to be at the beginning of the alphabet, I always enjoyed being one of the first to turn things in or to receive things. I also didn't mind having to sit in the front of the class because #1 I was blind and couldn't see because I refused to wear my dorky glasses #2 I was a good student and didn't need to be in the back of the room to pass notes during class; I could do it right under the teacher's nose.
When people would ask me what my last name was, I would flex my arm muscles forcing them to guess it. I thought I was so funny. I also loved watching some people's expression on their face when I told them my name. For some reason, there are people out there who think it's weird if you're Asian and you have an American name. I was at the temple one day and told them my name and the worker said, "You don't look like a Porter." I said that it was my married name and she seemed satisfied by my reply. Then I spoke up and said, "My maiden name was Armstrong." And left it at that.
Growing up, I thought I was famous because my dad told me I was related to Neil Armstrong. I was so excited I went to school telling everyone Neil Armstrong was my uncle. My experience doesn't top my little sisters. My dad told her that she was related to Louie Armstrong. It didn't occur to her that he was black and my dad was white. She still believed him and went to school and told all of her friends that Louie Armstrong was her uncle. I guess now that I think about it, it could be possible. As a kid though, it was hilarious.
I have always thought my name was unique, but in reality there are lots of women with my name out there. When I was an Armstrong, I was sick and had some blood test done. I wasn't married at the time and I was dating Ben. When the doctor's office called to tell me my results, they told me I was pregnant. I told them it couldn't be, it was impossible. The person on the other line tried to convince me that it was true. She must have thought I was denying it. I finally had to tell her that unless I'm the asian virgin Mary, I was not pregnant (what makes it funnier is that it was a few days before Christmas!). She finally believed me and asked my birthdate. Turns out that there was another Valerie Armstrong that went in the same day for blood work.
There are lots of Valerie Porter's out there too! That's why I include my middle initial when I sign my name. That's not to say there is not another Valerie M Porter out there, it just makes me feel a little more unique.
In about 3 weeks, I get my ultrasound done and get to find out what we are having. If it is a girl, we'll be able to name her just fine. If it is a boy, he may be nameless. We like unique names. When I say unique, I don't mean "weird", like "Abundie". Just not common, like "John" or "Michael". So if you have any suggestions for boy names let me know. I'm almost positive that is what I am having, but I could be wrong!