As a teenager, I wasn’t a rebel, much-as my children laugh. In understanding children and youth, I was however probably looking for some way to create originality.
My family were immigrants, right off the boat. I can vividly remember my Dad chasing youngsters after incessant name calling; wap, dago, go back to your country.
Sound familiar. Not much has changed. :<
For a period of time I was embarrassed of my Italian heritage. Life was just easier as I started pronouncing my last name “Nardu-ce” rather than “Narducci” – two “c’s and an “I” make a “CHEE” sound. My Nonna heard me one day. Now she spoke very little English but she clearly knew my mispronunciation. Oh boy did it “get it”. She never laid a hand on me but with slipper in hand, scowl in her brow and a tone with words I barely understood, I got the point.
I stepped into my heritage with pride from that point on.
However, the one thing I started doing is spelling my name with a “y”. I liked it. It was creative. It was different. It allow me that little bit of space from my family which is completely appropriate in development.
It wasn’t a legal change so all those legal documents are an “I” but everything else it’s a “y”.
Recently in seeking nomination for an upcoming municipal election the question has appeared “do you spell it with a “y” or an “I” ?” Oh gee, I thought, the right thing to do, I knew, was spell it with an”I”.
One day, maybe, perhaps, I’ll change it officially to a “y”, rather than out of wanting to create distance but because I like it.