Hi, my name is…

Names are funny things. In the Bible there are heaps of characters whose names either shape their lives – or their lives later shape the names – I can’t figure that out. Did Esau mean hairy before Esau turned out to be hairy? Or did Esau’s hairiness change the meaning of the word?

There are plenty of occasions where God communicates with parents to be who then name their child on the basis of the role they will play – like with Jesus.

When I moved to Brisbane in 1999 two people gave me the same nickname without having the chance to collude – and thus “Smiley” was born. I was called Smiley for six years. When I moved to Townsville the name didn’t really come with me.

Now that I’m back in Brisbane and amongst a mix of people who I’ve never met before and people who’ve known me for years I have to decide which name to propagate. I’m not sure. I don’t know how much I want my name to be synonymous with an emoticon. Especially after a friend just used this emoticon to describe me in a conversation on google buzz…

It’s a lame smiley.


queen stuss says:

As someone who has had a nickname for 15 years, I can tell you that the thing about nicknames is that they come out of relationship, and stick around because of relationship until they become part of your identity. When I moved to Gympie, 'stuss' didn't follow me. Most of my friends knew that as my nickname, but that was just weird for them to call me that. I don't introduce myself as Stuss these days, because I came back to Townsville as not quite the same person as when I left, so it's no longer appropriate to have people believing that Stussy is on my birth certificate.
Introduce yourself as Nathan. The people who know you as Smiley will continue to call you that, and if it catches on with new people that you met, then well and good.

Amy says:

Yep, sorry, but you'll always be Smiley to me. It actually takes me about 5 seconds to work out who people are talking about when they say 'Nathan'.

I have had about 3 separate people (who didn't know each other) call me Bambi (?) and EVERYONE calls me Miss Amy – from the security guard at work to family and friends. Collective consciousness?

Tim says:

You'll have to let me know which one you want. As we only refer to you as Smiley. I could try and change. But only if you really want….