I was given a really unusual name. At first glance, people say, “What is so unusual about Shannon?” My name is Chanin. It is not Shannon. I am called Shannon 90% of the time. Men especially seem to have a hard time with this. I think it’s because as women we are a little more sensitive about these things and want to make sure we are getting it right. Men just don’t give a shit if they pronounce your name correctly.
So, let’s go over it. If you want to pronounce my name correctly, follow along.
Let’s break it down. Chan—as in Jackie “Chan” + “in”= Chanin. Not so hard really.
It is exhausting correcting people on how to pronounce my name correctly so I have just given up. I cannot tell you how many times checkers in stores will look at my debit card and say, “Wow, what a neat way to spell Shannon.”
I quickly mutter, “Thanks” and walk away. If I were to correct every person that gets it wrong, I would literally waste away 85% of my life this way and I just don’t want to. After 41 years with this name, I am tired.
When I was in 7th grade, a teacher read my name out loud to the class as this… “Charmin??”
Holy shit balls did she just call me Charmin???
“Charmin Bissinger??” *Bissinger is pronounced like Kissinger. For some reason I get called Basinger and tell people, “why yes, I am Kim’s much younger and uglier sister.” *
She did. It took quite a while to live that one down. My feelings will not be hurt if I never hear, “Don’t squeeze the Charmin” ever again.
Every so often I am asked where my parents came up with my name. I was named after an actress named Chanin Hale. She was acting in a TV series and my mom came across her name in the TV Guide.
It is so much easier to tell people my parents were on drugs and came up with it one night while sharing the crack pipe (as my Mom is reading this she is hyperventilating and screaming, “I never did a drug in my life young lady!”).
I asked Mom once what were the other names they had been considering.
“Laurel,” she said.
“Like Laurel and Hardy?” I asked.
“Yes, but it can be a girl’s name too,” she replied.
“If you say so,” I said.
Well, I guess it is at least good to know I was screwed either way.