My government name is, Jeri Leigh Warner. No, I wasn’t named after that crazy musician, Jerry Lee Lewis, who played the piano with his feet. My genius parents named me after my dad, Jerry. Sweet, huh? I sure would like to know why my two brothers, who were born before me, weren’t named after him, but their first little girl was!
Oh, how the twerps of my childhood loved to let me know I had a boy’s name. Every two years my Marine Corps family moved, so damn it all to hell, I had to go through introducing myself to new kids all over again. “That’s a boy’s name.” Sigh …
Sure, it was spelled the feminine way, but that wasn’t enough to make the dipshits I went to school with stop picking on me. I only bothered trying to explain that my spelling of “Jeri” was the girls’ version, a handful of times. I guess they thought I was bullshittin’ them. Who me? Nooooooo.
I swore to everything holy, that the day I turned 18, I was going to legally change my first name to something normal! I really did spend a lot of time on this! I’d run through names on a daily basis, picking out the good ones. The popular ones. As soon as I’d settle on one, I’d meet some asshole kid with same name I had chosen for my future self. This meant I had to pick another one. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my new name if it made me think of the asshole who shared it, right?
I was about 15 years old when I realized that the “normal” girly names were just as much of a pain in the ass. Different reason, but still a pain in the ass. I’d overhear classmates gossiping about Amanda, Kelly, Jennifer, Tiffany and Amy. But which one? There were at least 10 others in our grade they could’ve been talking about. There was only one Jeri, though. If you were talking about Jeri, there was never a question as to which one.
Problem solved! Jeri! Jeri! Jeri! Jeri!
That’s ME, dammit!