“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family.”
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird.
The other thing you can’t choose is your nickname!
Welcome to Day 4 of 20 Days of Me…
What’s your nickname?
My name is Mouse. This name was given to me in junior high by a friend. She had read a book with a character that was called Mouse. I can’t remember now what book it was but the character was quiet and shy, just like me. When I got older and started working as a camp counselor, I used Mouse as my camp name as well.
My other nickname is just my maiden name. In the military, your last name is often used as your name. Even though I’m married, my name doesn’t change for my shipmates. If they met me when I was using my maiden name, that’s my name for life!
What came first – the mouse or the name?
Probably the name, right? I have collected various mouse figurines over the years and my eye is always drawn to the cute mouse among other knick-knacks on a shelf.
It’s not all sunshine and roses though…
I’ve had a few run-ins with mice (real, live mice!) which did not end well for them. I have a rule about mice – outside is okay. In my house is not. If a mouse is in my house it has two choices – move out or taste the mousetrap. On an old blog of mine I have several posts about my mouse-in-the-house wars and a category called, appropriately enough, “Mice Wars”. Here’s an excerpt from one post:
“War is ugly. The latest count: 4 dead, one MIA, and one prisoner released.”
Lest you think I’m a heartless killer, each and every one of those old posts is basically me talking about how much I hate killing them. But they just can’t be in the house. Hey mice – stay out!
My mouse wars have been going on, in various campaigns and locations, since the late eighties. I’m not sure who’s winning.
So I said that you can’t choose your nickname. Which is partially true. I wouldn’t choose a nickname and ask people to start calling me by that name. However, I have chosen a few nicknames that I use for myself. (It’s allowed if I only use them myself and no one else does. haha)
She-Ra, Princess of Power
Once upon a time there was an after-school tv show called She-Ra, Princess of Power. I watched it before I did my homework even though it was against the rules to watch tv before homework. Unusually rebellious of me, really. But I was in junior high so that’s probably why. 😉 Anyway, the reason I liked the show was because it so closely resembles my name (Sheila = She-Ra) so I adopted her as my superhero alter-ego. She is many things that I am not. Even to this day, she is my inner superhero identity. I don’t feel like a Princess of Power (or of anything really) but I carry her strength inside me, just in case one day she might spring forth.
Otherwise known as Sheila the Grape
I have always been a bookworm. One book from my childhood that I loved was the book Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. This book (like the show above) was special because it featured my name, a name not found in many places. It made me feel special to have my name in a book title. I am not one to put myself into the spotlight however I absolutely love it when others hold me up and love on me. Having the same name as this book character made me more important than I was as just myself, the quiet shy girl in the corner that no one notices. It shined a tiny spotlight on me, without me having to ask for it. (This is also why I love my birthday – it’s a day ALL ABOUT ME that I am entitled to by default. Shower me, people, with love!)
When I joined ROTC in college, regular exercise became a part of my life. It was then that I discovered how red in the face I become when working out. I find it embarrassing most of the time because to me, the red face means I’m out of shape (whether I actually am or not). I coined the phrase, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Grape (as a spin-off of the book title) to describe my unfortunate glowing red exercise face.
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