In addition to being called Lala by an intimate circle of friends, there is an entirely different group of people who know me only as Chop. Pork Chop, if you want to be formal. Morsel de Corchant, if we are in Cajun Country.
I have Downtown Dad to thank for that ample lable. But in his defense, it has nothing to do with my
shanks hocks rump physical appearance. It has more to do with City Council meetings and beer.
As is and always has been his custom, Downtown Dad was at a City Council meeting, and when the meeting was over, as is and always has been their custom, the esteemed gentlemen repaired to a local
bar pub swillery meeting room to drink pound some beers have a cocktail and debreif. There is honor among these gentlemen, and if one city father buys a round of drinks has the floor, it is considered bad manners to leave before you’ve finished your beer interrupt. On one such occasion, Commissioner Marty was about to buy another round take the floor when Downtown Dad got up to leave, saying he had to get home to dinner. Being a gentleman of large girth stature in the community, he slammed Downtown Dad back on to the barstool persuaded Downtown Dad to stay for one more round to continue their civic debate. Downtown Dad, having a great amount of thirst respect for Miller Lite with olives this group of men, was only happy to oblige. He even took a minute to call and tell me he would be home soon. I told him not to take too long because I was making his favorite dinner, pork chops. This caused him jump up and announce to the whole room “I’ve got to go, I’ve got a pork chop waiting for me!” And the response, and you might have expected was “Does SHE know you call her that?”
The building I worked in was connected to City Hall, and the next day, I was greeted ever increasingly with “Hello Pork Chop” and a wink. Even after Downtown Dad explained the story to me, I fielded their good natured jabs with a self conscious grin and a backward glance, hoping it wasn’t really my butt they were calling pork. The people in on the joke seemed to grow exponentially until just about everyone I knew called me Pork Chop. I knew I’d have to learn to live with the name while watching the 4th of July parade later that year. Those same City Councilmen came riding along on their float and when they saw me, they all yelled in unison, “Hi Pork Chop!”
20th 29th 40th birthday that December, Downtown Dad decided to capitalize on all the pork choppyness and threw me a surprise birthday party at the same swillery meeting room where it all began. Anyone who happened by got a free pork chop grilled right there, and all they had to do was wish me a happy birthday. It was great fun and turned into an annual event until that unfortunate board of health incident the PETA protest we moved.
That oft repeated addage “A child who is loved has many names” is very true. Sure, there are the mean kids who have that uncanny nack of finding your greatest insecurity and giving it a name. Pork Chop sure isn’t a name I would have picked for myself, and I certainly wouldn’t want it in quotes between my first and last name on my headstone! But it has turned into a term of endearment over the years, and I wouldn’t trade the memories that brought it about for the world!
What do the people you love call you? What is the story behind that name? Do you have different nicknames in different circles? Do you have a petname for someone? Tell me your story in the comments.