Stephanie. What a BORING name. Snooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre. It was such a common name in the 80s. Right up there with Jennifer and Jessica. (no offense, ladies) How many of us do YOU know? Too many, I bet. There were (are) too many of us. When my generation becomes grandparents the “Grandma Names” will be Stephanie, Jessica and Jennifer…oh and Ashleigh. No more Margarets, Pearls and Marys. It’ll be my name. It’s that common.
In my Grade 7 class alone there were 3 Stephanies. Stephanie Brown, Stephanie McMullen and me, Stephanie-Lynn Fuoco. So in the school yard we were: Steph Brown, Steph McMullen and Steph-Lynn. “Yep, I thought, “The kids at my elementary school are creative geniuses.” But I at least had my middle name to be different.
The funniest part about my name? I wasn’t even supposed to be called Stephanie. Nope. My parents had discussed, and agreed, on Anne-Marie. It was a good name. One that works in our family languages: French and English. It even worked in Italian which the Fuocos don’t speak anymore but still love. A nice name: traditional, easily pronounced and cosmopolitan.
Ironically, Anne-Marie was the French Canadian equivalent of Jessica back then, but no matter, that name didn’t pan out. You see, when I popped out, my mom took one look at me and said, “Stephanie”. My dad, who had just watched my mother give birth chose, very wisely, not to argue. Later on, he added the Lynn. (Merci, Pa!)
The Lynn part of my name actually helped me feel a bit unique in the sea of Stephanies… and Steph-Lynn? That followed me to High School and then into University. When I finally got out into the working world I dropped the Lynn only to realize that, I kinda missed it.
So now when someone calls me Steph-Lynn I get that warm glow that comes from childhood memories. The same golden feeling that you get when you reconnect with someone who was a child with you. You know you don’t have to pretend to be a serious, career-oriented adult, you can just relax with that person and be your true, silly self. That glow.
I don’t even mind Stephanie anymore. I wear my name like a badge of honour. “That’s right, I’m a child of the 80s. I liked Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony & Transformers, the first time. I watched the Smurfs and had a Skippit and a Pogo Ball”
That’s right, Steph-Lynn. Loud and proud.