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Hey Girl, What's Your Name?

My sister is named after a beloved Great Aunt and our truly wonderful Grandmother.

I'm named after a weed.

"Queen Anne's Lace" - also known as the Wild Carrot - is a white, flowering weed. Common to Europe and North America, it's abundant and edible, so if I'm ever stranded in a post-apocalyptic Hell, it's comforting to know I can eat my namesake.

My Mother says she named me after the flower because it's strong and grows wild in fields, empty lots, aside railroad tracks, in cracked sidewalks - thus providing beauty in unexpected places.

I like that.

I was originally named "Anne Marie" (Marie for no other reason than, according to my parents, "it sounds good" with Anne.) However, when I was three or so, I announced that I would from that day forward only answer to Anne. (Apparently I've always had a sense for the dramatic.) No one knows why. As I'd dropped out of preschool after only three days (because the "teacher" insisted we color printed pictures from coloring books rather than allow us to create our own illustrations), I suspect some jerk at Library Story Hour said "Anne Marie rhymes with pee" or something to that effect. At any rate, the only one person who resolutely called me Anne Marie was my Uncle Wolfe, a stern German; quite intimidating, so I always thought he was mad at me (the only other time I heard "Anne Marie!" was when I was in trouble) and I couldn't figure out what I'd done to piss him off.

Being a common name, when I was in Jr. High, I regretted dropping the Marie. I didn't know any other Anne Maries but "Anns" and "Annes" were a dime a dozen. I tried to jam the Marie back on the ass end of my name but it didn't stick. Ah well, c'est la vie. By high school, the moniker Anne Flan was well established, which I've always thought it had a nice ring to it, plus "Anne Flanagan" perfectly replaces "Ed Sullivan" in the Bye Bye Birdie song "Hymn for a Sunday Evening" - so there's that.

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