Saturday, September 14, 2013


"Did I mention I've finally decided on a nickname for you?"
"I didn't know you were looking."

-- Alexandra Adornetto, Halo

Self portrait 9-14-13

"Could you just call me Pigeon?" he asked the teacher when she read his name.
"Does your mother call you Pigeon?"
"Then to me you are Paul."

-- Brandon Mull, The Candy Shop War

Self portrait (2) 9-14-13

"Must a name mean something," Alice asked doubtfully.
"Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh; 
"my name means the shape I am -- and a good handsome shape it is, too.
With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost."

-- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

They call me TwoCent.

My family, that is. 

It's my nickname. My alias. My alter-ego. My AKA (for "also known as", like the rappers and hip-hop stars. You know, like Shawn Carter, aka "Jay Z." Or Curtis Jackson, aka "50 Cent.").

Around here, we use nicknames more than we use real names. 

They started calling me TwoCent several years ago, because evidently I was always on a soapbox about something, always giving my opinion, my advice, my input, my "2 cents."

The nickname stuck.
I like it.
I like my nickname so much that it's on my car's license plate. 
My husband had a "2Cent" necklace custom-made for me a couple of Christmases ago. It's my favorite piece of jewelry.

And now, finally, I have TwoCent on my skin -- a new tattoo on my outside, proudly proclaiming who I really am on my inside.

I hope I'll always be TwoCent.

There's something about a nickname, especially one that's given to you in a spirit of love and endearment, by the people you love and that really fits, that feels really good. It's like secret code, or the private language that twins make up that's just between them. In our home, our nicknames are an important part of our family's unique culture. We use them so ubiquitously around here that when anybody uses my "real" name, or even "Mom," it sounds strange.

I've tried being less opinionated, to keep my unsolicited advice to myself, to stay off the soapbox, to hold onto my input until someone asks for it. 

Nevertheless, I've gotta live up to the nickname. 

So every once in a while I still give somebody my 2 cents.

Sometimes I even give a nickel.