One day, back when I was in high school, I went over to my good friend Lindsay’s house to hang out. I had only been there a couple times before, so I wasn’t very familiar with her family yet. We were sitting in her room doing homework when her dad, Randy, came to ask Lindsay something. He stuck his head through the door and started talking to her before he turned and addressed me. I remember him saying my name out loud and then pausing in thought. I could see the gears turning in his head. After a few moments of contemplating in silence, he looked back and said, “Rosemary… anybody ever call ya RM?”
Lindsay and I both laughed because it felt like such a silly thing for him to think about. I told him no, and continued to laugh because I had never had anyone try to call me anything remotely close to RM or any letters of my name. He finished talking to Lindsay about whatever he had come in there for and before shutting the door, he said, “see ya later, RM!!” Of course, this prompted more laughter from me and Lindsay. After that day, I didn’t think much of it anymore. Sometimes Lindsay and I would bring up the memory because it always made us laugh, but it didn’t hold any significance beyond that for me.
I think about a year after that, Randy started calling me RM when I would come over to their house and see him in passing. Lots of “Hey RM! Nice to see ya RM! Catch ya later RM!” and that kind of thing. It was actually kinda fun to have a nickname from Randy; it sort of made me feel like a baseball player or something, like I finally had a cool nickname that dads like. I found out from Lindsay a few months later that everyone in her family was calling me RM. Whether they were texting or talking about making plans, they were just identifying me as RM. I felt this sense of connection to her family because it was like an inside joke we were all a part of. Now, they all call me RM from time to time and I’ve gained another identity all because of Randy’s brain. What a guy. But you all should feel special! Nobody but Lindsay’s family and y’all know me as RM. You’re like a secret society except this is on the open web and anyone can find out that they could be calling me RM too. Anyways, that’s how I got my digitally associated name. Everybody say “thank you, Randy!!!”
This story is the result of a writing assignment for this week called “Tell It / Tweet It!” I’ll link the instructions of the original post here, but basically, the task was to write a story on my blog in its entirety and then turn it into a minimalist tweet. Cute idea right? Now that you’ve read the tale of RM, check out the condensed Twitter version.
The mechanics of this are very simple, so the most difficult aspect of this assignment was deciding what story to tell. I came to the conclusion that I wanted this story to be personal; I wanted it to be my story in the same way we’ve been using the theme for this class. That’s how I landed on the origin of RM! I’m using that nickname as part of my identity for this class and my online/digital creations, so it’s like a new side to me that I’m getting to know for the first time right along with everyone else I encounter on the internet. I’ve had nicknames before; Rose, Mary, Mary Rose, Ellen, Rosie, Rosebud, Moses (maybe someday I’ll tell those stories too) but RM was just a completely different vibe from those names and it felt like a new identity that I hadn’t really explored yet. I’m excited to see how I change as I work through my creativity as RM. Maybe she’s a completely different person than regular old Rosemary, maybe she’ll even have a whole new story of her own! I’m viewing this as a step towards discovering more about my creativity and abilities in a field that I’m totally new to. I hope you will all take the journey to find RM’s story with me.