**DISCLAIMER: The following has been rated PG-13 for language and subject matter**
Names. They are an important part of our identity. We’re given a name at birth, and it lands on our birth certificates. It is how we are legally known in the world. Mine is Martha, I’m the 3rd in a line of oldest daughters in the family to carry that name. My nickname since birth has been Marti. From day one my parents called me Marti. By the time I reached Catholic school, it was the only name I knew myself by, so when the nuns refused to use it and would only call us by our given names, that frankly pissed me off. My mother is Marty, her siblings all call her that. In fact in the extended family they referred to mom as big Mart, and me as little Mart. When I was pregnant with my daughter, my uncle asked if my baby was a girl, were we going to name her Martha and call her mini Mart. Not so much. In high school they called me Marti, teachers, friends, students, even the principal knew me as Marti. I go to the doctor and while they have my legal/birth name on all records, they too call me Marti. As does the dentist, eye doctor etc.
Nicknames are just as much a person’s name as the one on their birth certificate. My ex, his name is Peter. But you won’t find anyone other than his mother and one or two friends that refer to him as Peter. Everyone else calls him Pete. My son is Michael, and my intent was always for him to be Michael. But that failed, his buddies called him Mike and I gave up. His little sister still uses Michael but she is one of few.
In the swinger lifestyle my name was Jaz. It was a shortened version of Jasmine, a name from a time prior to the lifestyle. I won’t go into all that, but nicknames kept us from being recognized in conversations by others when in the hearing of those outside of the lifestyle. After a time we did tell folks my real name but so many couldn’t make the change. Several said Jaz suited me better. It was even on my license plates for a while.
Jaz is the side of me that was naughty! The side that long ago in single days danced on tables in bars, that flashed the band for beads, the side of me you would find naked in the pool or hot tub with a mix of friends, the side of me that was quite confident in who I am and makes no excuse for being a bad girl at times. The side of me that did many nude photo shoots, and that is why you won’t see me running for political office because those pics are floating around all over the place and would likely surface. Not that I give a flying frog’s ass but voters might. That is the side of me that is certain when I walk in a church that lightening is going to strike and the walls will fall down. Jaz is every bit a part of who I am, but also the part that shocks folks when they discover that this woman was the prim and proper, jumper to the mid-calf, wife to the chairman of the deacon board and now has surgically enhanced 38D boobs, pink hair and tattoos. I’m a bad girl at times, sue me.
Many had issues with the name thing, funny that they themselves go by nicknames. One in particular now doesn’t even use Marti when referring to me to others but uses Martha. What the fuck ever, it matters little to me (though I’d imagine the bitch doesn’t call the ex Peter….just saying). Not sure why anyone cares what I go by since my life and what I do in NO way impacts their own. What is that saying, love me or hate me, either way if you are talking about me you are thinking about me?
My naughty side and my good girl side are all really one in the same person. The lines have blurred as I’ve become comfortable with myself and learned to love me as I am. It isn’t that I have a naughty side, it is that I know there is a time and a place when it is appropriate to be naughty, and a time when it is most decidedly NOT. You can call me Marti, Martha, Jaz, bitch, whatever turns you on and makes you feel good about yourself, but it won’t change who I am! I am still the same person.
As I’ve gone through hell and back the past 10 months I’ve come to the conclusion that Marti is Jaz, Jaz is Marti, both are Martha and she is them. All one in the same person. One damn nice, very cute, lots of fun, moody, temperamental, entirely too forgiving, playful, kinky, a little naughty, definitely a bitch, perfectly imperfect, woman. Call me any damn name you prefer, I am still me and the name I go by does NOT change that.
However, that is where the pruning is taking place. I’m ditching the nickname in as much as I can. There are those that will never be able to just call me Marti and that is fine, they knew me first as Jaz. It is just a name, a fun nick name, that I won’t be using anymore. BUT it won’t change who I am. I am Martha, Marvelous Martha, Marvi Marti…Marti.