My name

Cousin Don, Mattie, Me, Cousin Cyndie, Uncle Gary, Mom, Aunt Joanne (Photo Dad)
That's Grandma Mattie in the front between my cousin Don and me

Did you know I want(ed) to be named Mattie Lisette and not Karen Lisette? Some of you who know me from “way back” may have thought I wanted to be named something other than the Lisette part and not the Karen part of my name, but that’s not correct.

My maternal grandmother who we, my parents and myself, lived with on and off during my life until she died in 1984 was named Mattie Lora McGraw Hailey. I went everywhere and did everything with her and she was my best friend. Sometime in the 70’s, in my teens, I told her I wished I was named for her and, since I wasn’t, I wanted to name one of my potential (12) children after her. It surprised me that this news upset her. She tried to get me to promise her right there and then that I wouldn’t name one of my kids for her – something I never actually promised. I kinda sorta did to keep peace. Turns out it didn’t matter because I never had kids – but if I had had children, I would’ve named one Mattie (& with a clear conscience).

What about you? What do you think of your name? Would you change it?

I know of a (dare I say? old!) high school acquaintance who changed her name legally the minute she reached the age of majority and, according to google, has gone on to write books and have a successful professional career with her “new” name. Would I have changed my name if I was in her shoes? I don’t know. I liked her birth name. Would I have changed it to what she did? Probably not. I liked her original name better. But that is probably because I liked her, SHE made her name nice.

My grandma Mattie was wonderful and even though she didn’t like her own name much apparently, SHE made her name nice too. Since I’m named Karen Lisette and not something else and since I haven’t changed it – I hope that I make my name nice as well.

(For those of you who don’t already know this; Lisette was my paternal grandmother and I am honored to be named for her. No one knows who Karen was…)