Friday, June 19, 2009

My Daughter, Francine (Or the Lolly/Laurel Complex)

Sorry if this post is long, boring, and self-indulgent.

Many people, throughout my life, have been confused about my name and what they should call me. Should they call me Lolly or Laurel? And if it is Laurel, is it pronounced "LOR-EL" Or "LAWR-EL"? I get asked these questions frequently. Here are the facts:

My dad knew a girl name Lolly growing up. She was, apparently, a very nice girl and he really liked the name. My mom was wise, however, and thought that I might not want to be "Lolly" my whole life. Her doctor actually told her he knew someone name Lolly whose real name was Laurel. I suppose my parents thought it was an okay name so they went with it. Growing up, though, I was only called Lolly.

When Kindergarten came, I decided it was time for me to be sophisticated and shed childish things--like my name. I was going to be Laurel. Upon entering my classroom for the first time, though, I realized with horror that I had only practiced spelling "Lolly". So, because I couldn't spell "Laurel," I chickened out. By the time first grade and my ability to spell Laurel came around, I was already known as Lolly to all of my school friends. So, I went with it. Lolly I remained through all of elementary school.

When I went to junior high, I decided it was definitely Laurel-time. I was tired of having a weird name and I was more tired of hearing that stupid Lollipop song. So, in my melodramatic journal that first day of junior high--after having introduced myself as "Laurel" in all of my classes, I remember signing off with "Laurel: new name, new life!" Unfortunately, the confusion was only beginning. I started being asked how I pronounce "Laurel." The truth was that I, myself, didn't even know. I asked my mom and she said it was "LAWR-EL." (Since then though, I have been told that is a very Utah way to say it, but hey, I was born and raised in Utah, so whatever. Josh prefers "LOR-EL". Sorry, Mom. To be honest, I don't even notice the difference or care.) Anyway, because my family called me Lolly, and my old friends called me Lolly, and people who came close to my family called me Lolly, I had a little difficulty shedding the name Lolly.

We moved to Oregon when I was in high school, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. I was yet again, determined to be Laurel. But, dang, my family could not get the hang of it. My mom would introduce me to people in the ward, "This is my daughter, Lol---Laurel." It looked like she didn't even know my name! It was just weird to hear them call me Laurel anyway. I didn't like it. I was their Lolly. So, yeah, the confusion continued.

Cut to me being a 30 year old. I am STILL in a ward with my parents, thus the Lolly/Laurel confusion persists. Lolly is kind of a weird name, but it's mine, and I love it. And the truth is, I don't really care what people call me (unless it's some rude, jerky name like Nast-kitten.) (Should I be ashamed that part of me actually kind of likes the name Nast-kitten, which I created? I am crazy.) Anyway, I have realized that the reason I don't have name preferences is because I come from a family that is HUGE into nicknames. The truth is, we rarely call each other real names anyway.

Case in point: Olivia. Anna couldn't say Olivia, so she called her Viva from the start. From there, Viva mutated into "Vive La France" which turned into "La France" which turned into "France" which turned into "Francy" which turned into "Francine." That is her current nickname. Francine. Now, no offense to the Francines out there, but Francine is definitely not my favorite name. Yet, I call her that in public frequently. Yes, people think my daughter's name is actually Francine. That kind of horrifies me, but not enough to change it.

You would think that after all that I've gone through with the hassle of my nickname, I would avoid such things with my children. Um, no. Sorry, Francine, but I, like my mom, will call you the name that comes to my heart. (And for the record, I do call Josh "Tony." But that's a story for a different post...)


jjstringham said...

Ha! GREAT post! And I'm glad I'm not the only one that's wondered what you wanted to go by. So Lolly it is!. . . or maybe LAWR-Lolly. :-)

FoxyJ said...

Fun! I've wondered how you felt about the Laurel/Lolly thing :)

My mom has called me "Faye" since I was a small child and she can't remember why. It's kind of weird.

TamBaum said...

Thanks for this post. I heard all about Lolly even before you were in our ward so Lolly it is for me!

The Tersigni Family said...

Ha. Love it all. I like viva la france the best. The funny thing is that when people even tried to call me "kay" or any shortened version of my name, my mom would get mad. I remember her yelling at my sister for it once. Funny, huh? And we are lame with nicknames too. We just call Thomas "T" sometimes...which isn't very clever. How about you guys come up with some fabulous nick names for us?

Stephanie said...

I too am glad you posted a clarification. I have heard others call you Lolly, but didn't want to assume I was on a nickname basis with you so I guess I played it safe. It's much better knowing the story behind it. Now I feel safe calling you Lolly!

The Perkins Family said...

Ha! I've always wondered too. I even asked Chad about it. Were we good enough friends to use "Lolly?" Or would that seem weird? Now I know to refer to you as Sis. Nast-Kitten! I love it!

Isn't weird how we pick the perfect names for our kids and then never use them? I never thought I'd have a "Natty" but that's who she is. People think that's her real, full name. Mikey is the opposite though. I named him Michael with the full intention of always calling him Mikey. Hopefully he's okay with that! I guess it's another Laurel/Lolly situation!

Katie Tyler said...

ok, I read the other comments... and how has NO ONE commented on Nast Kitten?!!! Now that it is out there- I will not be able to resist asking your parents on Sunday "hey, have you seen Nast Kitten around?"

Crystal Lynn said...

Hey thanks for the clarification. Very helpful. Um, do you know how many people are nor going to call you nast kitten now? Awesome.
The nicknames remind me of those Fudge Books I read when I was in elementary school... know what I am talking about? I forgot the title but just remember this boy whose family calls him Fudge. Funny.

Ashley said...

I LOVED this post! I laughed out loud. Nast-kitten? Awesome. I don't think I've ever heard the "Tony" story so do tell.

I love nicknames too. I think Olivia will feel loved that you guys have so many affectionate names for her.

Grawrock88 said...

So, as your sister I obviously already knew the story, but it was still SO fun to read! We are such a weird family. I was telling some of Steven's friends all the nicknames we have for each other... and there are a LOT! (It started out because they found out Mom calls Rhys, Rhyserton) But, I LOVE it and I think that Viva and Anna will too. =) I LOVE you Lolly!

Kimmel Tippets said...

I LOVED this Loll! I, like Kammie, already knew the story as I am your sister but I have to say it is a relief to hear that one of my siblings also struggles with the name complex only mine is Kimmel/Kimmie. It only makes it worse that I am in the same Ward I was as a teenager, much the same as your problem being in Mom and Dad's ward! It's funny though because I see you as both Laurel and Katie on the other hand...I can't see her as a Kaitlyn no matter how hard I try. Funny huh?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, evolving nicknames are so wonderful. I think I know the root of "Tony" but I can't remember it... the movie "The Shining?"

Please come see us in Austin sometime!! :)

Love you guys!

Mickelle said...

Maybe you can give it another go-round when you hit your mid-life crisis. :)

We love you guys -- and totally enjoyed the post!

Mickelle said...

So I was thinking about this post today when it occurred to me Betsy could very well have the same thing happen as she gets older. Honestly, I'm kind-of hoping it does -- I want her to make a conscious choice about who she's going to be... but I kind-of hope (if she does) it secretly works out like it did for you -- that Betsy's just too powerful to fade away. :)

And thank you again for the call. You are too wonderful.

Grace said...

that was a great post! Nicknames can be fun and they really are a part of us. I think Viva sounds great for Olivia and it's so cute how Anna calls her that. As far as your name...I guess you'll always be Lolly to me and i can't believe you are 30! Wow!!

Wodin said...

Hmm... My first inclination is to call you "Lolly," but I feel equally comfortable calling you "Lawr-el." I think my pronunciation of your name comes from my Aunt Laurie, who is not "Lore-ie" but "Law-rie."

And nicknames: Don't be ashamed of Francine! I call Jeanette "Betty." Or sometimes "Betty Jo." It evolved like this: Jeanette became Jeanettie became Nettie became Nettie-betty became Betty became Betty Jo, and a million other permutations.

emily said...

Laurelia! You are too funny! I am getting used to calling you Lol and Lolly. Ever since you introduced yourself to me as "Laurel", it's been hard for me to shake it!

Looking forward to seeing Tony, Biscuit and Francine this weekend!

Love to my weedlings!


Special K said...

Ok waaay to funny. We've all have the same question yet we were all afraid to ask. I've always had issues with my name too - is it said Kor-rin Kor-RIN - Kor-en, Corrine etc. So when I headed off to college I decided I would go by my middle name which is Justine - I didn't know a sole at BYU when I went so it wasn't like I couldn't get away with it - only problem was I never responded to my middle name :) ha ha so back to Kor-RIN I went. Dillon's nickname is Pickles - it started Dill-wad(don't ask) to dillweed, to dill pickle, to Mr. Pickles to Pickles to sometimes just Picks now - funny how we do that with names. Isaac has never really had a nickname that everyone calls him but I call him "baby doll" and as of yet he hasn't told me not too :) I'll have to be careful around his friends as he gets a little older. Thanks for the fun post!

Danielle said...

Laurel--I found your blog when I was on Grace Whitnah's today. You crack me up with this post. If it make you feel any better, I have done the same thing with one of my sons. You will always be Lolly to me--and I totally remember your mom mixing up your name every once in awhile. I hope you are doing well--if you're in Portland before January, let me know. I'd love to see ya'. (We're moving sometime in January.) Take care.

meg said...

hey! i came to your blog through katie tyler's. this post made me laugh--i remember the lolly thing coming up at byu, but never at a time when i could get a good explanation. Now I know.
And for the record: Grey's current nickname is puppy googoo. he is also known as grey b, which sounds more like greybie. and jane is janie. besides puppy goo goo, i guess we're not as creative, or maybe ours just haven't evolved yet.

Jessica Shumway said...

All I'm saying is that this blog post was over a year ago! We need more Weed!!!! (updates)

Amy said...

Hey, Lolly/Laurel :)

I just saw your blog address on Facebook. I can't believe I never read it before. It is so fun reading about your family. I hope you don't mind. I have a blog, but it is private. I'll send you an invite, but don't feel at all obligated to read it. It is generally boring. But I thought it would be more polite to send you an invite than just to blog-stalk you. :)

And, by the way, I love your name--either way. Lolly is endearing because that's what I know you as, and YOU are endearing. But Laurel is beautiful and sophisticated--also characteristics of yours.

Lorena said...


I wandered here from your hubby's blog. It's nice to finally "hear your voice" and know your name (both of them) since he always calls you Wife. BTW, you're names are not as strange as you think.

I've known both a Lolly and a Laurel (but they weren't the same person.)

Lolly's real name is Lorena (like me). In order to differentiate both of us at school, they called me "Lore" and her "Lolly". I also had another friend called "Loli" (real name Maria Dolores. "Loli" is short for "Lolita". "Lola" is short for "Dolores".)

Laurel was a friend of a friend. I always thought her name was beautiful (and named one character after her!)

PS. Is it true that you have a MEGA-CRUSH on Lionel Ritchie??? (That is one of the funniest posts I've ever read. :-))