Identity Crisis

From time to time I suffer from a bit of identity confusion. It is not that I wonder who I am, I just wonder what I should be called. What I mean is, if I wasn’t a professional organizer I think I might have a hard time keeping them straight. Different people call me different things…

My legal name is Amanda Marie Kuzak. Since I was born my parents nicknamed me “Mana Moo” because when I would cry I would make a long “moo” sound, it was pretty funny I guess. Eventually, “Mana Moo” was shortened to “Mana” or “Moo” by some people, and changed to “Moo Moo” by others. My siblings and school pals always called me “Mandy.” In high school I attended a summer arts camp at Interlochen for 10 weeks, when my dad filled out my paperwork he listed my nickname as “Mana.’ When I got to camp my locker and all of the badges said “Mana” so that is what I was called all summer. When I started college, the class lists only had my legal name so many people called me “Amanda” and eventually most people shortened it to “Mandy.” In law school and every job I have started I thought I should introduce myself as Amanda because it is my legal name and let people shorten it, the thing is, no one does anymore. This makes things confusing for most of my childhood and good friends because they think I decided to change my name when they see Amanda written on my company website or social networking sites.  The truth is, it is easier to use my legal name because that is where all of my nicknames have stemmed from, well, almost all of my nicknames.

My sister has always had her own nicknames for me which is always a pleasure. (For those of you with sisters you can relate). She and I attended Alma College together for 2 years, we were in the same sorority and had a pretty similar group of friends. While in college I was allowed on rare occasions to borrow her car. My sister is a touch taller than me so everytime I drove her car I had to push the driver’s seat up so I could reach the petals. That is when she gave me the nickname “Midge.” Before I knew it everyone was calling me “Midge” and many people still do. I kind of thought it was funny because my sister is blond and tall like a Barbie Doll and I had brown hair like Barbie’s side kick Midge.  Eventually I got my own care and my sister bought me a pink glitter license plate that said “Midge Mobile” on it.  I guess it was fitting because I drove a tiny VW Beetle.

Now my sister has twin daughters who call me “Aunt Midge” which actually sounds more like “Mitch.”  I find this quite funny, even my 2 year old nieces have added another nickname to me list, geez!

My sister and I have a college friend named Erin, after being called Midge by her and my sister for over a year, Erin’s fiance (now husband)  asked us why they called me “Marge”, he just didn’t get it. We laughed so hard, he thought they were saying “Marge” the whole time.

I thought I should share my identity crisis with all of my readers after reading Erin’s blog post that she linked to the latest “Sister Sister” post on my blog. In her post she reminded me of all of my names and how she doesn’t know what to call me anymore.Well, here are a list of all of my nicknames and who calls me what, I will say I am mostly called “Mandy” and that is what I usually refer to myself as but you can call me whatever you like.  I am just jealous of people out there who don’t have any nicknames, it must be nice to know who you are!

Amanda (my law school buds, former co-workers, most clients, and my dad)
Mandy (most friends, siblings)
Mana Moo (my Aunts and Uncles, family, and parents)
Mana (Interlochen Arts Camp friends and family)
Moo (family)
Moo Moo (my mom)
Midge (my sister and college friends)
Aunt Midge (Audrey & Lilly)
Mitch (Audry & Lilly)
Marge (Erin’s husband Chris)

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