Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's In a Name?

I have a confession to make. My "legal" name is not Zelda Zapp, no matter how much I wish it were. My incredibly boring, undistinguished name is...Patricia Martin. My parents gave me and my sisters plain, ordinary names, because they both disliked their own unusual names. Mom's name was Evie Easter Willis and Dad's name was...are you ready?...Knut Fagerbakke. They were both teased unmercifully about their names, all through school. As soon as he turned 21, Dad changed his name to Kenneth Martin. And when the babies started arriving, he and Mom agreed to give us unnoteworthy names, to reduce the chances of peer harrassment. Of course kids, being as creative and evil as they are, found plenty of other subjects to torment us about, but our names were not one of them.

My sisters and I did not, however, appreciate our parents's thoughtfulness and wished we had more interesting names. I experimented with different names over the years, using my middle name, Marie, for a while, but I didn't feel like a Marie, and it was too common also. I tried Maggie, and Sadie, but they didn't feel right either. And then, one day when I was in my thirties, the name ZELDA came to me, out of the blue, and I knew that was me! ZELDA! WOMAN WARRIOR!
Now, if only I could summon up the ambition to make it legal. The last name, of course, would be Zapp. I don't know if my father would approve, or not. Probably not.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I told my therapist about Raul, he sighed heavily. "Zelda, oh's still 'Zelda' isn't it? NO, I refuse to call you Sadie! All right, all right! SADIE!
So, you remember the last time we talked and you told me you were not going to expand your 'fuckable-age-range' again? I thought we had agreed that you should not be with any men less than half-your-age-plus-5. Raul is only 25! I'm not sure exactly how old you are, but I'm pretty darned sure you're over 40!
Well sure, I'd like to fuck someone who's only 25 years old, but I wouldn't! Wait a minute! Who's analyzing whom here?
Okay - back to Raul. Why did you go out with him? No, I don't want to see the photos you took of him! Oh geez, all right! (pause) Okay, I suppose he is gorgeous, but there are many gorgeous young men out there. You're not going to fuck all of them, are you?
Oh...I see. When you're 'Zelda' you keep your legs together, but when you're Sadie, all bets are off. Well, Zelda - note the emphasis, please - I think you'd better start settling down again. Stop all this travel to exotic places, places with all those muscular, brown-skinned men walking around wearing tiny swim trunks. Next time you want to take a vacation, try the Poconos! There's a nice Holiday Inn there, and the employees are all flabby, white guys who won't bring out the 'Sadie' in you. You can go swimming in a nice, warm swimming pool and then take a walk around the parking lot. There will probably be lots of friendly, older people there - you know...people your age - and you could drum up a game of pinochle after dinner.
Zelda - wait! Don't cry! Where are you going? Your hour isn't up!"