Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Love You Alice B. Toklas

This is such a random story I don't know why I'm compelled to tell it.  None the less.

My given name is not Jane. Instead it is a lengthy stream of saints names, that was unfortunately shortened to Peggy. Peggy was a burdensome name for me. I had an aunt of the same name I didn't care for plus Peggy always seemed to be in or about to get into trouble. By the time I hit my early twenties I'd had it with the trouble making Peggy.

One day I was reading The Autobiography Of Alice B. Toklas when I read this sentence: "Jane Heap came to tea today".

I was struck by the simplicity of the name. And she didn't appear to be a trouble maker.

So I stole the name. And used it happily for years until the IRS sent me a letter inquiring, well you know, what happened to me and who was she and why did we share the same social security number.

So now I used my given name for my legal affairs and am Jane to everyone else. And neither one of us has much of a reputation.

Recently I connected with an old friend from ghost town days via facebook. When I met him I had the goat named Luna, a dog named Chutney and I'm pretty sure my face was painted. Maybe with rainbows. Anyhoo, he still refers to me as Miss Heap.

This always makes me smile.

Unlike the fact that we're still waiting for spring.


Told you it was random.


















31 comments:

  1. How the bejeezlehoop did I not know about you until so recently?
    I just clicked the link to the post about running around and away with such interesting friends.A woman after my own heart!

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    1. Really? You'll have to tell some tales....

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  2. Great story! My second name is Margaret, after - yes, an unloveable aunt Peggy. I never use that one! But I wish I'd just had the nerve to call myself Rachel (my 3rd name, after my beloved grandmother) instead of the one I was saddled with; I didn't even know it was my name until I saw my birth certificate for the first time when I was 17.

    The Gardener is named after a ship, his father having been a naval man. Parents have a lot to answer for. I think children should have working titles only until they are old enough to choose their own permanent names, don't you?

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    2. Clearly I do. If the shoes don't fit...

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  3. I enjoyed this . . . loved it a bit too . . . I will think of you as Jane . . . and remember a random with a smile, . . . and Miss Heap.

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  4. Cool! I too have an alias. My 'real' name belonged to my mother and is basically unpronounceable. Needless to say, high school was hell.

    S
    xo

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    1. Sue, just as workable as Jane. Good choice.

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    2. I have two alias' - my name in the real world, and webb, which is my mother's name, too.

      i think girls - in particular - need to pick their names at about 18. We go thru so many changes and in so many other peoples' images, that when we decide on our own, we need to have the freedom to seize out choices. Names have power and we need to invoke our power in our names.

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  5. No way you're a Peggy - never. You are JANE! loudly, proudly, majestically Jane. Heck with the IRS. You can change your name for $10 in Virginia - the filing fee. It does not take a lawyer, you just need the verbiage and a very small check. If you want to do it, let me know and I can get the verbiage for you...

    Happy Spring! xoxo

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    1. Thanks Webb, I don't know why I've never changed it legally. I guess I'm just keeping a bit of my history this way.

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  6. I love your random thoughts...this will make an interesting chapter in your book! You know I love your writing! And those pansies too!

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  7. Jane is perfect for you. Both old-fashioned and modern. Small and pretty and spunky.

    I love that picture. Pansies!

    xo, Jen

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  8. Perhaps it's something about the name Peggy. I have a friend who tells about her dear grandmother going away to college many, many years ago. She went to a town where she'd never been, to be among people she'd never met, and she reinvented herself when she got there. Her whole life she had been called Peggy, and she told this to her new friends ... and she also told them that they could call her Tina ... and she was Tina to everyone from then on.

    Peggy has a place in your past ... but Jane has obviously been your future. Very pleased to 'meet' you again this morning.

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    1. Too funny. I wonder if anyone changed their name TO Peggy...

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  9. Why won't blogger let me leave a comment? Arggg. Second try:

    Jan is my all time favorite name. Jane Heap? Perfect.

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  10. Nice to meet you a little more Jane! Love the random story.

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  11. So charming - I love the story. Your little bouquet is almost exactly like one I picked yesterday.

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  12. Somehow Flower Peg just doesn't have the charm of Flower Jane! I think you did a splendid job of picking your name and the pansies are so pretty. Thanks for sharing ....

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  13. LOVE the story... made me laugh out loud. You're a hoot! ;-)

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  14. I enjoyed your story Jane! Happy Easter!

    Madelief x

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  15. Ok, Miss. I miss you. Oh, and I am reading The Paris Wife. Oh, and all your random stories seem to reflect my life. What gives? Where are you? Let's make plans soon. Good food, good chat, whaddya say? Chrissy

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  16. Oh I adore random stories. Of course I only know you through your blog, but I do think Jane fits you. I have a friend who legally changed her name. Sounds perfectly and randomly logical to me. Happy Easter, Bonnie

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  17. How delightful to read about your name and how you chose it -- and the fact that you chose it. Love the literary reference. It's been ages since I read the Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, and what i remember most is how often "Alice" remarked on how brilliant Gertrude Stein was! I thought that was so funny! And now another reason to appreciate her brilliance, since she found a way to give you your absolutely spot-on chosen name. Kudos! Happy Easter and I love those pansies. It's rainy and gray here in Minneapolis and we're hoping the rain will wash all the snow away.

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  18. I don't know how I missed this post. My reading list is failing me.

    I love random stories and this one doesn't disappoint. I had my own trouble with the IRS. My first employer had a pension plan and when I left the company, I had the option of taking the money or leaving with the company. I took the money. After filing my taxes the next year, I completely forgot about the pension check until the 1099 arrived. If it didn't have the wrong social security number, I would have taken the time to figure out how to refile. But the wrong number convinced me I would never be found. I was wrong. Four years later I owed more to the IRS than the original check. So, Ms. Heap, we now know not to mess with the IRS.

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  19. love your story Jane - happy Spring ! xoxo

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  20. love this story jane! i too have one of those long catholic names...janet anne christina k...

    my initials spell out jack which makes me so happy.

    xo

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  21. Your random stories are utterly the best. X

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  22. Well Ms Heap, I have aways been known by my middle name. Occasionally I get some official letter addressed to my given name and I think who the hell is that? Jane's a great name choice.

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  23. The goat. I knew the goat would reappear one day. X

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