Hi! I’m Crickett.

My name is Crickett Jacks Hutchinson. The name I was born with is not really important. I only answered to it for part of the first 12 years of my life. My parents and other family, and therefore most of the people I knew, called me Crickett.  It was fine at first, but when I started school, people started teasing me about it. When we moved to Nebraska when I was about 10, I tried to insist on using that other name, but of course my family slipped up and called me Crickett…in public…and I spent about a year being alternately angry and humiliated about it. When we moved to Germany in 1976, I decided that since I couldn’t get rid of it, I would damn well own it! And I did. The name I was born with was used only for official purposes.

I’ve been Crickett for 40 years now. When I got married in 1998, I made it official, in a roundabout fashion. I know you’re supposed to go through the courts, and take months and shit. But the DMV allows you to change the last name on your license with just your marriage certificate. So when I went into the DMV, I casually asked the clerk if, while we were at it, if we could change the first name, too. He looked at me skeptically, but I showed him my checkbook, and my business cards, all in the name Crickett, and told him I wasn’t trying to skip out of any debts or anything. I just wanted it to be more official. On new jobs, I was tired of having to explain why official documents didn’t match my name. I thought it wasn’t going to fly, that the DMV wouldn’t allow it. But he was young, and impressed by the boobs, I think. He finally shrugged and was all, whatever, and I got my driver’s license in my completely different name. So after I had a driver’s license, I went to the Social Security Office. Since I had one piece of “official” identification, they issued my new SSN card without a blink. So now it IS official.

So why Crickett? Apparently, when I was born, I was late, and a little over 2 lbs. What hair I had was snow white. Combined with big, blue eyes. Someone – nurse, aunt, doctor, depends on who you ask – said I looked like Jiminy Cricket. The Cricket part stuck.

Why Jacks? The man who married my mom, adopted me. He and his brother were, themselves, adopted, by a family relative. It was one of those family adoptions that genealogy trees have so much trouble with. I kept it as a middle name to maintain the connection. That and if I messed up in signing a check, I could always just add the new last name, and make it look like I meant to do that.

Hutchinson? Well I finally married a man whose last name I was willing to take.

So don’t ask me about that other name. That person doesn’t exist. Now the only one to call me that is my college alumni association, looking for donations. They use some weird combination of names, looking for someone who has never existed. They don’t care enough to find out my real name, so I don’t care enough to donate.

What’s your name? How did you come by it?

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One thought on “Hi! I’m Crickett.

  1. This is a great essay Crickett! I have a name that isn’t mine — I bear it, but don’t own it. Those who love me call me “Jules” — but even that isn’t really, truly mine, but theirs, a symbol of their love for me. Lately, I have been having fun with pseudonyms that have been popping into my head like random seeds of corn, exploding and causing me to laugh — Jemima Wrocks, Priscilla Wiggins, silly stuff. My name? More like that of a cat — ala TS Elliot and “the naming of cats” — it is a private thing that I don’t even know if I know!

    Like

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