Working at Starbucks, I have to write a lot of names on a lot of cups. I can’t tell you how many times people get upset when I write “Megan” instead of “Meaghan” or can’t call out “Rajhamenanae” (Yeah, that was an actual name. I wrote it down on my hand in marker so I would remember it for this exact reason.) Getting snapped at or made fun of out of frustration is really annoying, but I can totally understand. Our names are a huge part of our identity, so having someone disregard the spelling or pronunciation can feel like someone is just disregarding you. My advice? Identify with many different names.
I have 4 names that I go by, the first being the name my parents gave me at birth, Kimberly. The credit goes completely to my mom, who got to name me since my dad got to name my older sister. (Shelby, like after the car. On the up side, Sissy, he could have named you Caroll. You are so not a Caroll.) My mom decided on Kimberly because it was the name of one of her favorite characters from Days of Our Lives. Anyone who wonders about my flair for the dramatic, there’s your answer. The only people that call me Kimberly are my parents when they are angry/annoyed/frustrated with me, my brother-not-in-law Joey, bill
collectors/telemarketers, and Ernesto at work. I have no idea why he uses my full name, but I think it’s kinda funny.
The next one is Kimmi. How I got to Kimmi is long story, but basically, in the 2nd grade, there were 3 Kimberlys. One of us got to be Kimberly, one got to be Kim, and I became Kimmi. I don’t know whatever happened to Kimberly, but Kim and I are still friends to this day.
The third name I go by is Kim. Mostly, I use this one at Starbucks and other places where they need my name for something. If I say “Kimmi,” inevitably it comes out as something different. Kammie, Kally, Kayley, and Kelly most often. The only person that really calls me Kim is Cierra, and she’s been doing it ever since she met me. Sometimes she’ll call me Kimmi and it sounds weird.
The fourth is Queen Kimmi. Obviously, no one calls me that in my day-to-day routine, but it’s still a part of me. I got it because when I was working at Cold Stone the whole “Princess” trend was in full swing. There were princess bags, tees, necklaces, pillows, name tags, and everything else you could possible put it on to express that you were a princess. One of the girls I worked with wore a princess pin on her hat and I mocked her endlessly. One day, she very maturely responded to one of my taunts, “You’re just jealous because you’re not a princess.” I stopped, turned, and said, “You’re right. Why would I want to be a princess when I can be the mother fuckin’ queen?” About two weeks later, got promoted and she made me a name tag that said Queen Kimmi. I’ve gone by it ever since.
So which one do I prefer? It doesn’t matter. I’m Kimmi to most people, Kimberly to others, Kim on rare occasions, and Queen Kimmi always.