I don’t know if it applies to everyone but to me there is a certain degree of distinction in terms of what role a person plays in my life based on what name that person uses for me.
Almost everyone who knows me personally calls me by my nickname, Clare. My family, from what I can remember, has hardly called or referred to me by my real/given name – with the only exception being moments when my parents were really mad at me and wanted to emphasize that they mean it. You can usually tell who doesn't really know me when they use my given name.
The given name rule has its exceptions. My closest friends earn the right to call me by my given name. It’s a small group of people who get to do that and be labeled near and dear to me. It would feel incredibly weird if someone tried to use my given name in an attempt to act close to me considering that even my immediate family calls me by my nickname and I usually tell people to just call me Clare.
This holiday season reminded me of how the people who sent greetings are categorized in my life: For family and friends, it’s Clare. For former schoolmates, co-workers and other people I’m not close to, it’s my given name. Then there’s the group of people who – even if they know I prefer to be called Clare – call me by my given name and I actually let them.
It’s always nice when I get greetings from that select few, even more when they use my given name to do so. These are the people I have become close to through the years or have played a significant part of my life one way or another. People who, in spite of distance and time, will always be people I can sit down with and we could pick up where we left off like nothing ever happened.
I know it's a completely random idea but I'm just wondering: does anyone else out there understand what I mean?