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Darina Kagan Headshot

Sorry, My Name Is Not Tiffany

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This is for all the people out there with non-traditional names. I have found, throughout the years, that I have become more observant to how people reject what is not familiar to them. Growing up with a non-traditional name, I was exposed to the ignorant mocking of the cliche kids on the playground, being called everything from Doritos to Diarrhea. All throughout my childhood, I remember being mad at my parents asking, "Why couldn't you name me something common like Laura or Jessica?"

I became envious of those easy girl names -- the one that the teacher would never mispronounce when reading the attendance list out loud, the names that forced some to be defined by the first letter of their last name in order to differentiate, Stacy L. and Stacy B.

As more time went on and I got to college, I saw other ways my unique name hindered my everyday life. The barista at Starbucks would constantly butcher my name, which eventually forced me to take on the common name alias of "Sandra" -- much more simple. Even out at a party the cute guy would never bother to take a minute and ask me to repeat my name over the loud music and noise.

Today, I'm happy to say that I've fully come to terms with my name. In fact, I love it. Even though, I grew up never being able to buy the pencils or stationary with the pretty monogrammed names on them, I found myself loving the fact that I will never meet someone with the same name. I think that society, especially American society, tends to reject whatever is uncommon or out of the ordinary. If that wasn't the case, gay marriage would be legal everywhere, right? I guess in the end, all that matters is the attempt at trying to understand, even something as small as a name.