Friday, June 30, 2006

fishermen beware

For years, people have asked me about my name. Where did your mom hear that name? Did she make it up? Is it a family name? What does it mean?

According to a website called Behind the Name, I found the following:

Gender: Feminine
Germanic Mythology
Pronounced: lor-e-LIE, LOR-e-lie

From a Germanic name meaning "luring rock". This is the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. Legends say that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures fishermen to their death with her song.

When I was younger, I hated it. With a name that ended in "lie" I was called "Lorelie lies" and other silly things that didn't make sense. I never heard Brittany or Monica being teased about their first names. It wasn't fair. I remember having a serious conversation with my mom about changing it. She had changed her own name from "Luzbeminda" to "LouAnne" so I told her I wanted to change mine from "Lorelie" to "Lorelee." I remember crying and saying that life would be so much easier for me. Of course, she didn't budge. My name would be "Lorelie" and that was it.

Through middle and high school, the names/words/phrases that rhyme with mine or the ones that made people laugh only got worse. Of course, the kids who had the worst names were always the ones doing the teasing so they wouldn't get teased themselves. By then, I was a lot more comfortable with my name since I had discovered that it really did exist out there, especially in music. NOTE: There was a time when I didn't think anyone had heard of the name "Lorelie." It wasn't on lunch boxes or license plates or t-shirts. Those were only for girls named, "Christina" or "Lisa" -- certainly not "Lorelie."

By the time I was 15, I found three songs with my name as the title:

1 -- Lorelei by Styx
2 -- Lorelei by The Pogues
3 -- Lorelei by The Tom Tom Club

I also discovered a Harry Connick, Jr. song that had Lorelei in the lyrics.

I know what you're thinking...What's with the "ei" at the end of everyone else's version of Lorelie? Supposedly, it's the way it should be spelled if you're going for the origin of the name. But, if you know my mother, you'll know that nothing can be the way it's suppose to be. It has to be different, unique, something special. Even in the midst of her name change, she wanted to make sure it wasn't spelled, Louann. She wanted Lou Anne. Space, capital "A" and an "e" on the end. That's one of the many things I love about my mother. She is very unique and because of it, I am too AND on top of it all, I embrace other very uniqe individuals. I don't want you to be like me and I don't want to be like you. JUST BE YOU! I AM LORELIE with an "ie" and am happy for it!

So, of course, the name, Lorelie, is becoming more and more popular now. The WB's Gilmore Girls has come on the scene with both lead characters sharing the name, Lorelei. The mother is Lorelei and the daughter is called Rory as a nickname of Lorelei. I'd never even thought there was a nickname for my name. Seriously, I had filled out applications with a line for nickname and every time, I would pause to try and think of something that would make sense. The show, of course, has become one of my favorite things to watch. It's focus is on the mother and daughter relationship in a small town setting with Rory's big dreams and Lorelei's big hopes after leaving her wealthy parents. The running theme is that she chose differently. Lorelei chose to have her own life because she knew what her parents life already looked like. It's not perfect and that's what makes it very inspiring.

So, if you're a Lorelei, Lorelie, Lauralye (actual spelling given to me on a coffee cup) or a (insert unique name), DON'T WORRY. Your name was given not to define you but to identify you only on the surface. You define you by the life you live, the choices you make and what you decide to put behind your name. I am grateful for my name because it isn't very common and it has grown to suit me but I still choose to stay true to me and my uniqueness.

Thanks mom. Through your uniqueness, you've taught me how to love mine.

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