What’s in a name?


My name is Holly. 

So why then, do people insist on calling me Colleen? Colleen? Are you serious? I don’t even look like a Colleen.

Polly, Molly or on occasion Dolly I get – it rhymes, but Colleen? Jesus. 

Last week I was at a book launch, I agreed to go along as a guest of the author thinking ‘perfect, we will be best friends all night, I’ll pick her brains about France and we will drink champagne until the tab runs out. Yeah, NO.

I rocked up only to realise I had not thought the whole situation through. I didn’t know anyone else there and the author was busy welcoming everyone in. It suddenly dawned on me I would be forced to either spend the night alone with my phone or attempt to make friends.

I made my way to the bar, grabbed a champers and stood in the middle of the room, willing someone to look at me. An older gentleman caught my eye and I gave him a smile he simply couldn’t refuse. He said hello and I launched into a story about how the venue was actually a nightclub, did he know. Stellar conversation starter on my part I must say. Well, that started what turned out to be a very valuable friendship for the evening, or so I thought. He introduced himself as Peter and I told him my name was Holly.

“Colleen, lovely to meet you”. “Oh no”, I replied, “It’s actually Holly”. “Yes, yes, Colleen, so what do you do?” 

Well what does it matter now, Peter. You’ve just ruined everything. 

Unfortunately, the situation got worse. Peter was one of those people who knew everyone there, and I mean everyone. Being the friendly and helpful gentleman he was, he proceeded to introduce me to everyone he knew . . . as Colleen. So in the end, after attempting to pull every other person aside and correct them, I just embraced it.

So I put to you the question, what is your name and what do people decide they want to call you?