November 3, 2010


I've had precious few nicknames in my life. I've liked exactly none of them. 

My father is to blame for the first one. It seems when I was a baby I had a birthmark on my head, that is mercifully covered by hair now, in the shape of a bean. Or so thought my Dad. Then and there he coined "Beaner". 

Just let that soak in for a minute. Beaner.

Up until I was maybe 10 years old I spent my summers as Beaner. My mom and I lived in Arkansas, my Dad in Minnesota and I went to his place every summer. I remember riding my bike through the streets of tiny Fulda, Minnesota with my step-brother and step-sister and their friends. Their asshole friends. Who chanted Beaner, Beaner, Beaner any time I was near. Which was always. I hated those little bastards almost as much as I hated my nickname. And every time I heard that name I wanted to pelt my father in the face with marbles. I quit the annual summer visits to my dad's when I was 13 and by some miracle of God, the nickname never crossed state lines.

The next one I got during my freshman year in high school. In what I can only describe as one of many horrendous fashion choices in the 90's, I wore a shorts and shirt set with a huge screen print of a couple of peaches. As icing on this particular what-the-fuck-was-I-thinking cake, the words Peaches n Cream where printed on the shirt. Talk about wishing I knew then what I know now! Some juvenile idiot trying to get my attention called me Peaches and as it happens in high school, by the end of the day my first name was replaced in the minds of my classmates by the nickname, Peaches. Luckily it only persisted for the rest of that year and was only brought up after that by the original juvenile idiot. 

When I worked as a parole officer I made a conscious effort not to lose my femininity in the pen!s dominated world of law enforcement. I wore high heels, dress slacks, even skirts occasionally. I never, ever went to work without make-up, kept my nails manicured, and continued to wear all of my jewelry.  If you think it was hard to accessorize with a tacky gold badge and a Glock 23, you'd be wrong. I made it work. The price I paid for being so girly was the nickname Officer Barbie. Another name came out of my time at parole but that's a blog for another day.

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