What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?  

What’s in my name?  

For all intents and purposes my name is the initials, MB.   

My legal name is Mary Elizabeth McAfee.  

I’m named after my Dad’s favorite aunt.  

My earliest recollections are that I was called Mary Beth.  I like this name.  I can hear my mom’s voice calling me home from playing outside in my childhood neighborhood on Montezuma Avenue in Cortez.  I can hear her calling “Mary Beth” at our cabin on the Dolores River. She generally had to resort to using a bell that resounded across the hillside.

I have a brother and when we were youngsters he called me “Sis.”  I am glad that name didn’t stick. In college I worked in the kitchen of a boarding house with a bunch of guys who began calling me MB.  

One of those guys was Chuck, the man I married.  I would not have chosen to be known by initials for all the years to come, yet that’s what happened.  I tried on several occasions to be called Mary Beth and always there were people around who knew me as MB and insisting otherwise was futile.  When there is a brief pause on the phone when the caller asks for MB, I have learned that often people expect a man’s voice. Once at a meeting after I had introduced myself someone said, “Is that all there is to it?”  

Well of course that’s not all there is to it!  

Our names embody all of ourselves.  

It’s been said that our names are the most important words, or initials in my case, that we will ever hear.  

I have the happy benefit that my name rhymes – MB McAfee.  Try it.  Say it aloud and you’ll see!

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