Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ande: New nickname!

Well, at least I'm going to try giving it a spin.  Don't know if I like it yet, but maybe the weird combination of letters nobody else uses will help make some stuff feel normal!

Anyway, like I mentioned last time, my twin and I are working at the same place this summer - a colleague of our dad's retired, opened an Italian restaurant, and hired us to work there.  I started the other night and did a double take we got into the car and I saw the "Andie" nametag my brother-slash-sister was wearing.  "What's up with that?" I said, giving it a tap.

"What do you mean - oh!  Of course, you wouldn't have known to change the contacts on your phone just hearing it!  You know how it is, it's always weird writing our names and feeling like we're impersonating each other, right?  We did it for the last two years of high school because people would give us weird looks if we changed it, but it's weird, right?  Like,  whenever I try to sign 'Andi' with an I in cursive, my hand feels like it's doing something wrong."

I gave an uh-huh.  I don't know if other folks who've been to the Inn have that sensation, or if it's just us, because our names are so similar and I often find myself correcting myself midway through the word.

"Right, so I figured, heck, I don't need to do that at a new school, and adding that extra E, and for some reason, that doesn't seem like I'm forging your signature, or trying to lay claim to everything you've done, or, you know.  It's, like, mine."  She kind of mumbled that last bit.

"Huh."  I just sat there for a moment, thinking.  "Shit.  I don't want to be a Drew."

She laughed.  "You are so not a Drew!  And you're really not a Dre!"

"Oh my god, can you imagine me going back to school in the fall and trying to get people to call me Dre after being Andy for a year?  Everyone I know would mock me and I would deserve it!"

"Maybe you could go with two Ys or something?  Or E-E?"

I gave a fake-pensive look and said that maybe one E would work.  "Andie" liked it, so I'm trying that out and accepting that a bunch of folks are just going to call me "And".

The job's okay; I'm mostly busing tables while Andie is up front as the hostess, which means she can sort of stay put rather than walking around.  I'm not sure which of us has the better job - I've got to move a lot of stuff around but she's got to deal with people who are irate that they can see an open table and she can worry about the people who have a reservation in 15 minutes if and when they arrive - but I do kind of wonder if I've got the right attitude for hers these days.  I've done a pretty good job getting the testosterone and bad temper it can cause under control, I think, but I do kind of appreciate not having to do that sort of thing.

It's funny to watch, though - like I said yesterday, I don't necessarily feel the need to turn my maleness up at any point, even if I'm kind of absorbing it, but I do see Andie kind of turning girl stuff on and off, or at least adjusting her levels.  I asked her about it on the first drive home after work, and she shrugged, saying that I know it's something all girls have to do in a male-dominated world and and that she has to do it even more, both because of how she grew up and because she's consciously been trying to work out who and what Andie's going to be ever since she found out about the long covid.  She doesn't know if there's really a version of Andie that she'll ever be all the time, even more than other women who have to have their guard up.

When we got home, I asked Mom and Dad if they'd known about Andie doing the name thing and if "Ande" was silly, and they were just as surprised as Andie that I hadn't realized she'd done that.  They immediately changed their contact lists to show "Ande", though, and felt encouraged that we were staking out their own new identities.  I'm not sure how rare that is, and how much of it's because the Inn left us like this, but there are a lot of folks whose parents are not nearly as supportive of figuring out who they are and want to be, and I do appreciate that.


(BTW: I kind of want to apologize if I've given the impression that Andie is stupid or foolish in my posts.  She's actually quite smart, even with brain fog sometimes slowing the process down a bit, and this kind of thing is more in her wheelhouse than mine, which I'm especially well-aware of from trying to take classes in her intended major last fall.  I blog when mad or frustrated a lot, and it doesn't always tell the whole story)

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