Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Jennifer in California

Jenn M., 28:

I was born a Jennifer, but I rarely go by Jennifer anymore. I am
destined to be a Jenn with 2 N's. I have no aversion to the name
Jennifer, and at work many superiors refuse to call me by my nickname.
But anybody who has known me for longer than a day knows I prefer to go
by Jenn. Jenny makes me want to cry. There are 2 people in this world
who are allowed to call me by this abhorrent name; Grandma and my
niece Stacey.

I was born in 1981 in Oceanside, California. Mom didn't name me after
anybody famous, or after someone she once knew. She just liked the
name. My sister and brother have equally popular names (Michelle and
Mark). There were something like 15 Jennifer's in my graduating class,
and 5 other co-workers right now that share the same name. I find
myself turning my head to the sound of Jennifer a lot, and I find it
insanely entertaining when the Jennifer in my row, and the Jennifer
across the room do the same thing. We all smile accordingly,
appreciating the bond we share.

I don't remember disliking my name, just the fact that it is so
normal. I grew up being the oddball, the outcast, the child that
nobody understood. The art freak. The rebel. My name just didn't fit
my personality at all. But as the years went on, I became increasingly
more "normal" and I grew into my name. The fact that I'm a redhead has
been my only saving grace in this world of endless Jennifer's; it
helps keep me original and unique.

My goal of individuality aside, I love being a Jennifer. A Jenn. Never
a Jenny. And I have come to realize a name is just a name. I may have
one of the most common names in the country, but it doesn't make me common.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birthday Blah Blah

I had a birthday last week.  And I wondered:  how many other Jennifers are having a birthday on this very day.  How many Jennifers were born on my birthday?  I tried to log on to Twitter to tweet that one up, but it didn't work and my head started to explode, so I went hiking instead.

I'm curious, though.  Any Jennifers out there have birthdays in July?  Specifically July 9?

And a project update:  I had scheduled a Jennifer Project photo shoot in Seattle for July 18.  I had one person respond to my request, so I decided to cancel the shoot this month.  I need some time to formulate a new plan...

It's been great hearing from Jennifers from around the world, sharing their stories of name frustration, identity challenges, etc.  I am hoping to weave these stories into a play, novel, book, something at some point.

I am committed (to myself anyway) to put together a Jennifer Project photo exhibit.  I have 7 Jennifers' portraits, and would like to have at least 20.  I'm having trouble finding more Jennifers to photograph.

So, do you know anyone?  Are you in the Seattle area?  I'll come to you, sister!  Email me and we'll work it out:

Hope you are all enjoying this lovely summer day!

Jennifer K