They call me girl
They call me Stacy
They call me her
They call me Jane

That’s not my name
That’s not my name
That’s not my name

“That’s Not My Name”
We Started Nothing
The Ting Tings

Day 2: Nicknames

My name is Melonie. I’m also known as Crush With Eyeliner in the derby community, but that’s another story for another time. I’ve gone by several nicknames over the years, most of which have never stuck. With the exception of one: Mel. And let me be perfectly clear when I say that I hate that nickname. With a white-hot passion that burns like a thousand suns. There are three people in this world that I allow to call me by that name. Most likely, you are not one of them.

My decided hatred for the nickname Mel came from a childhood in the ’70s. I don’t think I really minded the name Mel at first. Then along came a little show called Alice. That ruined it for me. Having my peers tease me by saying (in a really bad fake Southern accent), “Mel, kiss my grits!” and being associated with a fat, greasy asshole of a man created a disdain for that particular nickname. For some reason, I also think Mel sounds harsh and a little more masculine than I am comfortable with. When most people say it, it has a hard edge to it which bothers me for reasons unknown. That’s why the three people who are allowed to use it were given that option; there’s something in the way they say it that sounds different. It’s not something I can explain, but it sounds softer coming from their mouths and makes me feel good.

What’s funny is that a lot of people know me by Mel. That’s because it wasn’t until recently that I decided I needed to speak up about my preference not to use that moniker. I don’t know why I let it go for years without saying anything, other than basic insecurity. Basic thought process was that if I tell someone not to call me that, they might get mad at me. One of the joys of growing older is that you learn more about yourself and care less about what other people think. Slowly but surely, I have gotten used to correcting people and letting them know that I would prefer they didn’t call me that. And SHOCKER! No one has gotten mad at me. In fact, they tend to be very apologetic and embarrassed.

You can call me Melonie, Mee-Lo, Mollie, Momo, Melba, Toast, Crush, Nagzilla . . . hell, I’ve been known to answer to other M names (Michelle, Mary, Margaret) when people forget my moniker. But unless you’re my husband, my husband’s best friend Ben, or his coworker Chris, please don’t call me Mel.