Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why some people call me Steve

When I go home my name is Steve, which is one of those interesting things which is all about parental decisions, which I explained on my Google+ profile, but decided I should probably stick here, so copying from there to here, and posting just in case there are classmates out there searching for Steven Harris.

My full name is James Steven Harris, but in my hometown I grew up as Steve, which is very common in Southern towns. At least I got my actual name--some people get called things like Bubba. And before I moved to San Francisco I got a job with a temp agency, so was called Steve, in my hometown.

Went with the same temp agency when I arrived in San Francisco, and for that reason was called Steve on the job in San Francisco, while I was James everywhere else.

Again, not really complicated as to how it happened, but I started thinking of myself as two people: Steve and James.

Steve was the quiet worker who paid the bills by working my "day job".

While James was the karaoke singing party animal, who had all the adventures.

Every once in a while the two would cross paths. Kind of felt like a superhero with a secret identity, not really secret. Or, um, like a certain character in a Disney show, some may know. And I remember stumbling across it once, and finding myself guiltily watching it thereafter, like, hey, kind of know how what works!

How would people react? It's hard to explain, like when co-workers would ask people why are you calling him "James"? And I'd explain, or others would ask, who is this "Steve" person?

It's kind of weird how small things can dramatically affect your life, like why didn't my parents just name me Steven James Harris?

My Mom says she didn't like the way that sounded.

And I'll add that when I grew up--not sure they do that now--you were in school what your parents called you. So if your name were Sherlock Moriarty Smith, and your family called you Bubba, then in school you'd be Bubba Smith, which is what you'd write down when your name was needed.

So I was Steven Harris growing up, as if "James" were just not there. It was recorded somewhere but absolutely no one called me that, and I forgot about it until college. Of course off you go to college and everyone calls you by your first name, or at least they did me.

Way I figure it, you got two names, so why not take such an opportunity to get use out of both of them? Besides, it was kind of like getting to be a new person, so most people in the big wide world probably know me as James. It's also how I almost never got called any James diminutives. Though at times some people call me Jim, which I get a kick out of.

And that's the story. Back home I'm Steve, and with certain people I worked with in San Francisco, while everywhere else, I'm James.

Oh yeah, so call me James, or Jim, if you prefer. All the people who call me Steve know to do that without getting this story.

James Harris
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