Hi, my name is Madonna.
Now before you jump to conclusions, I'd like to first explain that no, I was not named after the artist. I don't blame your curiosity though. Every time I introduce myself, I always get some kind of reaction. Whether it's a surprise reaction, a disbelieved reaction, or a simple laugh, everyone seems to have something to say about my name. Not to say that I don't like my name, I love it, but sometimes it can honestly feel like both a blessing and a curse.
To clear things up, I was actually named after Mother Mary. Madonna is Italian for the saint's name and my parents loved the uniqueness behind the religious meaning. Oddly enough, Madonna the artist was named after the same reason. So sharing that quality with the artist makes me feel connected to her. I never share this with people though. Everyone just assumes I was named after the artist so the conversation ends there. Although I will say a few people have guessed correctly, asked if I was named after St. Mary and have left me in complete shock and joy. Those are the people I remember.
When I introduce myself, I usually have to do it twice. Once to say whom I am, and twice to answer that person's double take on my name. Typically it's followed by a reference to a song by Madonna or even The Beatles. "Like a Prayer," "Like a Virgin," "Material Girl" and "Lady Madonna" have been the most popular referenced songs. Afterwards, if this person is especially outgoing, I can get asked if I sing and I slowly disappoint them when I say I can't. This is a common cycle when I meet new people. Sometimes the repetition can occasionally feel annoying but for the most part I find my name to be a great icebreaker that gets the both of us laughing.
If there's one thing I learned while living with a name like mine, it's that I'm most likely going to be remembered, whether I like it or not. I'm not proud of everything I have done and a lot of times I can do foolish, thoughtless, ridiculous things much like everybody else. Unfortunately for me, I've noticed my name is a little hard to forget since I'm usually the only Madonna a person meets who isn't the artist.
However, it's not entirely bad to have a notable name. For instance, when I first moved in to my college dorm room, an RA came to me, introduced himself and said a bunch of RA's were talking about me because of my name. I hadn't even moved in yet and I was already the talk of the town. And like I said earlier, having a name like Madonna is a great ice breaker so the initial first meeting can typically start smoothly. It's also nice to know people will remember you when you're trying to leave a good impression.
Being a regular person with a pop star's name can surprise people. As said by my marketing professor, it can catch people off-guard. Not that having a name like mine is bad, it's just different. There aren't many people named Madonna, Shakira or Beyoncé, if you get what I'm trying to say. Because of that, I also secretly have a bucket list goal of meeting people in the same position as me. For example, I once met a Shakira at the doctor's office and another Madonna at church. It was an incredible moment for all of us. I have yet to meet a Beyoncé though. So if you ever meet a Beyoncé who isn't actually Beyoncé, please refer her to me.