Well, Juliet (as in Romeo and) believes “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” because names are a meaningless convention and it’s the person behind the name that counts.
I disagree, Mr. Shakespeare.
I believe that names are a product of black magic and can make you behave in ways you wouldn’t normally, had you been called something else. Take Damien, for instance. Spawn of the devil. Or how about Candy? No wonder she’s a stripper. And Dick? I rest my case.
There is one particular name that keeps popping up in my own life—and then just as suddenly disappearing.
At first I thought it was coincidence, but now I know that it’s nothing short of supernatural forces at work.
When I was 17, my best pal and I were at the beach one day when we heard that familiar tinny rendition of “The Entertainer.” We bum-rushed the ice cream truck, bought a couple of fudgesicles, and by the time I was licking the last of the chocolate-flavored high-fructose corn syrup treat from the wooden stick, Dan, the 19 year-old guy working the truck, asked for my phone number. I was ecstatic. He never called.
Later that summer I was walking home one evening when a car pulled up alongside of me and the driver, a guy named Dan, called out. Turns out he mistook me for someone else, but since he was cute and I was bored, we wound up chatting for about twenty minutes. Finally, I had to go, and he asked if he could call me sometime, as he had really enjoyed talking to me. I gave him my number. He never called.
The following year my friend and her family had an out-of-town visitor stay at their house. You guessed it—his name was Dan. We got along famously and spent a lot of time together during his last two days, and when it was time for him to return home, we exchanged info to stay in touch. He never wrote.
At this point, my friend and I came up with the shared moniker for these guys: Disappearing Dan. We laughed about it and I decided to stay away from anyone with this name.
Cut to about five years ago I was doing some extra work and met a guy named Daniel on set. He was good-looking, well-spoken and fun, but I was moving out of the country in two weeks and didn’t want to start anything.
He was persistent and charming and after a 12-hour day, he wore my resolve down and I gave him my number. What the hell, I thought; a two-week stand would be fun! If you assumed he didn’t call, you’d be wrong. He called, took me out, we had a lot of fun, and agreed to do this as much as possible before I left. I never heard from him again.
I figured the extra three letters in his name (from Dan to Daniel) gave me the extra time with him. But still, after my friend and I discussed this abnormally long string of Disappearing Dans, I shouted, “That’s it! This time I’m serious! No more Dans!”
In the five years since, I have grown much wiser and have attracted a whole new caliber of men into my life, none of whom have disappeared. True, I had to force several of them to disappear, but that’s a whole other story. A few months ago I met a guy who did the opposite of disappear. He was persistent, persuasive, and pretty darn great. We got to know each other as friends first, which naturally segued into something more, and then he disappeared. Oh yeah, did I mention his name was Dan?
So, is it the name or is it the person? Well, since a five-for-five streak is too much to be mere coincidence, I believe it is the name that causes these Dans to disappear. As L.M. Montgomery wrote, “I don’t believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
Selena Templeton is a blogger with JenningsWire Online Magazine. For more posts by Selena please visit here.
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