Dear Lola,

I have a fairly popular name which is spelled in an embarrassing manner. Think of all the fun ways you could spell the word candy and I would bet my house that you would never arrive at the spelling for my name. It wasn’t such a terrible name as a kid, but as a professional woman it is getting very tiresome. My current boss has even mentioned that she hates giving my name to clients in writing because she’s worried they will make assumptions about me. I really want to change my name but my parents are fully against the idea. What do you think I should do?


What’s In A Name

Dear What’s In A Name,

I am deducing that your name is Candy. Unfortunately for you, it seems your parents opted for the spelling which was most likely to incur large therapy bills due to schoolyard taunting. This style of name can also be termed unique or personal, depending on which schools you went to. It sounds like you may have been lucky in that regard.

Before we move on to business, I feel obligated to guess how your name is spelled. You practically commanded it by betting your house that I wouldn’t guess the correct spelling. It would be nice to have a summer house to retreat to! I think I can eliminate Kandi and Candi, those are not embarrassing. Kandee? Candee? Kayndy? I’ve just realized this could take days and we don’t have that kind of time – let’s get back to the problem at hand.

It seems you’ve gone as far the Snickers bar will take you.

Now before you go nuts on your name, Snickers pun intended, you should know that your parents will always call you by the name they picked out. No piece of paper in the world has stopped a mother from calling her offspring what she chooses, even when that offspring is running away as fast as their legs will carry them. Have you considered changing the spelling to something you prefer? Depending on the field you work in, you wouldn’t even need to do a legal name change. Many people are named one thing and called another.

Richard is a perfect example of being a Dick.

You could also adopt a more traditional name, Candace, which people would then assume you shortened into the nickname your parents assigned you. This would avoid you having to teach everyone you know to call you by a new name, which they will most likely struggle with for years to come. Not to mention the embarrassing moment when someone calls out your name and you walk past them without acknowledgement.

That would create a whole new problem for me to solve!


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