I was noodling around on the Interwebs this morning and discovered that there is a definition, or rather six of them, for “Eda” in the Urban Dictionary. Let’s focus on definitions one and three. They make me feel like this:
I don’t like number two—I’m no ditsy girl. Four and six are not very nice. Five doesn’t make any sense.
Eda is a great name, but it wasn’t so great to grow up with. When I was little, the big boys on the school bus would call me Eda Benita Banana and ask, “Where’s your banana buggy?” Hurtful words when you’re only seven. My mom told me about Sticks and Stones, but it didn’t really help. For years, I tried to get people to call me Jo, a shortened version of my middle name, but that never caught on.
Most Americans can’t even pronounce it right. (Eda. Long E, short A. What’s so difficult about that?) They assume I don’t know how to spell my own name and give me one of the following variations: Ida, Ada, Etta, Enid, Edith, or the soul-crushing horror of Edna. (No offense to anyone called Edna. It’s a fine name, it’s just not MY name.)
But living in Japan is a whole different story. My last name has too many R’s in it to be of any use at all, but everyone can say Eda. It’s actually a fairly common Japanese family name, so people feel perfectly comfortable calling me Eda even in formal situations. So I am called Eda-san most of the time, Eda-chan by friends, Eda-sensei if we’re being really formal.
The one thing I don’t like is when people call me Eda without an honorific, and then speak to me in Japanese. If they’re going to speak to me in English, that’s another story, but without the honorific, it just doesn’t sound right and is borderline insulting.
I really have been living here too long, haven’t I?
Update May 29: There was a daily prompt about first names today, so I thought I’d link back to this.