All right. This is how it’s going to be. I’ve made a decision. I am Nora. Just Nora.
If I’ve ever commented on your blog, you’ll know I comment as norabarnacle. I know people choose aliases for many reasons, sometimes to keep what’s personal hidden, sometimes to have a bit of fun, sometimes to lay claim to something they feel defines them in some way. Sometimes it’s just something they picked up along the road.
I was never really worried about the whole internet knowing my first name thing because well, it doesn’t take a genius to go from norabarnacle to wondering if this person’s name really is Nora. The nickname came about a few years ago, before I had a blog or even knew what a blog was. When I started dating Crunchy husband back in California, he (obviously) came home and told all his family and friends about the smokin’ hottie he landed himself in the States. (Okay, I totally made that up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Crunchy husband describe anyone as a smokin’ hottie.) One of his friends, who then became my friend, Boogie friend I think I’ve called her here, is married to Crunchy husband’s best friend from college. And her father is a massive James Joyce fan. So as soon as he heard my name, he’s thinking “Nora? Nora Barnacle?” As the story goes, he got very excited about this. It became my “name” in that circle, even after we clarified that no, no I wasn’t really a Nora Barnacle. It just kind of stuck. [In a complete aside, but interesting view on how small the world really is, we learned last year that her father was acquainted with my Grandma’s brother. Crazy!]
When I was little, I didn’t like my name. No one else had it. Why couldn’t I have been a Jennifer or a Sarah? Those were obviously the cool names because everyone had them. Now that I’m not seven, I am happy to say I really like my name, just for that reason. (Thanks mom and dad!) And the fact that it’s short and simple, even if people do want to put an “h” on the end and I sometimes have to say “Nora with an N” to keep it from becoming “Laura”.
I must have been working through a crisis of identity in my sleep last night. I woke up thinking about Zoolander— “who am I?”— and decided it was time to stick with Nora. I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that after years of filling out various visa forms and handing the UK government stacks of cash, I’ve been given my indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Maybe it’s the fact that pieces of my genetic history keep showing up on the sitemeter. (Within the last few weeks, I’ve had hits from Cork, Ireland; Porterville, California; and New Brunswick— all places that correspond to, or are very close to, the birthplaces of three of my grandparents. I don’t count the birthplace of the fourth grandparent in this fascination because my parents still live there, so of course I’m getting visits from San Jose.) Or, maybe I’m just lazy and tired of typing norabarnacle when I could just type Nora. Who knows. But, for whatever reason, this is how it’s going to be. Unless of course, I’m feeling feisty. If you see a Funkmaster Crunchy Crunch show up, yeah that’s probably me too, after way too much sugar.