Prompt: “Describe an object you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?”
When I was in high school (sophomore, still a child), I bought a little silver ring in one of those cheap junky jewelry stores that appeal so much to teenagers. The little silver ring had a tall skinny capital “E” on the top of it. My name begins with “J,” so why did I want an E? There is a story behind that, as you might imagine.
When I was a teen, I used to love to talk to my mother about her childhood. One thing she happened to mention once was that her name, Alice, was misspelled on her birth certificate. It was spelled E-l-i-s. She said it was because the person who wrote it was German, and that is how he pronounced her name. He wrote it phonetically on the birth certificate.
I thought it was a really “cool” mistake, and it could have been an awesome, unique name for me if she’d only thought of it. I’ve always hated my name.
So, in high school, after I’d heard that story, my nickname became “Elis,” at least to my boyfriend at the time, and that little ring was the symbol of that name, and that time in my life.
What happened to the ring? Truthfully, I don’t know. Of all the things I’ve saved from the past, that is not one of them. Maybe I just outgrew that silly pretention. But sometimes I wish I’d changed my name to “Elis” because it is unique, it is sort of a family name, and it has a story behind it. It would also have honored my mom, who is gone now. I wanted that name, or another name from my dad’s side, “Dayla.” Why couldn’t I have been called one of those interesting names? I have asked myself more than once.
It’s probably too late to change it now, but I still hate my name. And since I’ve recently thought of it again, I wish I could find that silver ring with the skinny E on it.