Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Why “T.” and not TLPPBBHWKR?

T just T

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When I introduce myself, I usually begin with some variation of “Hello, my name is T. – like the one between S and U, in the alphabet.”  It is one lone letter, yet it causes some confusion for people and when it does, I realize I should probably correct it to, “Hello, I go by an initial… T.” but over the years, no matter what I do – there are always people who make an issue out of it.

  • “How do you spell that?!”
  • “Can I make it T-E-A or T-E-E or Teigh?” [Love the one fella who wrote me an email making it TSXVJNM (saying that “all of the other letters are silent.”)]
  • “I’d rather call you TT. Do you mind if I call you TT?” [Yes. Lots.]
  • “Ooh. That’s so masculine. You should pick a softer letter.”
  • “Are you in the Witness Protection Program, or something?”

[Ok, I made that last one up, only because I think it should be one of the comebacks, if you’re going to insist on having one.]

Using all of my given names is even more overwhelming and I usually have to include props of some kind to really walk people through it.  I won’t give you all of the names, just the initials: TLPPBBHWKR.  Ten.  Don’t bother counting, there are ten.

Now, it might give the impression that, like Elizabeth Taylor, I’ve been married a lot.  I haven’t.  I have been married more than once, though.  Once when I was young and stupid, for a minute and again when I was older and not especially wiser, for 23 years.  My last name now, is my last last name from here on out and that’s the final word on that.

So, what’s the explanation behind those 10 letters?  Again, I usually employ props or a John Madden game play whiteboard about now, but I’ll give the short (certainly shorter than my very long name) answer:

  1. T) My first name is a name that my birth mother and adopted mother both argued about when I questioned them on different occasions, but I ultimately discovered was a saint’s name given by the nun’s in a small catholic hospital.  Either they were in a hurry or decided I wasn’t quite saintly enough to be name after one of their own, a letter was dropped on the birth log. Corrected on the adoption birth certificate filed with the state and typo’d yet again on numerous important documents in my life.  The Social Security office agreed with the birth records and I have been missing a letter almost all the days of my life.
  2. L) My middle name is your classic country western singer middle name.  I’ve never much used it, except for those years I sang at the Palomino in North Hollywood and on songwriter demos back in the day.
  3. P) My birth mother’s last name which I had to use, because I was conceived while she was married to a man in the military who came home to doubly bad news and then had to sign me over to the people who were adopting me.
  4. P) Adopted family’s name.  The Mrs. thought having a little girl would save their rocky marriage and soften the hearts of their two biological boys.  Tough order for a baby and I could not deliver.  Mr. & Mrs. P divorced before I could utter words and defend myself.
  5. B) The Mrs. remarried and I got a new name.  Not legally.  I just used it to enter elementary school, get medical insurance and feel like I was a member of the family.  The new Mr. and Mrs. divorced when I was nine, but I continued using this name, but when I was 12 I was told it was never made legal and had to enter middle school using name #4 again.
  6. B) The name I used whenever I was with the foster family that took me in when life went kablooey on the romantic front for Mrs. P/B.  Thank goodness the rotating cast of weasels never made an honest woman out of her, or I would’ve had to tack their icky initials on.
  7. H) Oh, the follies of youth and the brief marriage that gave the impression I was Irish, for a minute.
  8. W) My guardians, my beloved Maternal Unit and the Great Patriarch.  They gave me a lot, but never their name.  It was all just too complicated. [And really does require props and visuals to walk you through. Perhaps another time.]
  9. K) Twenty-three years and two incredible grown children were the gifts from this letter.  I might not have liked a lot of things, but to be anything less than grateful would be silly.
  10. R) In the name of love. The last last letter I will ever go by.

So, you see – rare is the time, in my over half-a-century, that I’ve ever been given a name that wasn’t complicated, sticky or full of strange emotion.  Looking back, I know that all of the names came from a place of love, some incredibly weird and wonky love… but, love nonetheless.  Which is why, at the end of the day, when it is just me you’re dealing with – I’d really rather prefer, if you’re my friend, that you just call me “T.”

It’s not that complicated.

xo – t.

T just T

** For the lady who asked for the lyrics of the song I sang tonight at the Performing Arts Center:

There’s a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know ’til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there’s a fine, fine line between “You’re wonderful” and “Goodbye.”
I guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime,
But there’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for.
For my own sanity, I’ve got to close the door
And walk away…
Oh…

There’s a fine, fine line between together and not
And there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime…

There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

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