Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adding That Extra "N"

Moving is frequently cited as one of the most stressful life events, after the death of a loved one, divorce or illness.
While the reasons for moving can be positive – such as the purchase of a house or job promotion – settling into a new home, connecting to a new environment and recreating a home are almost always chaotic and stressful. (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

The first time I moved was during infancy, crossing the globe from South Korea to the states at age 10 months…. The second, into a college dorm room at age 18… Then to El Paso, TX for a job at age 21… Now to Tampa for another job at age 25.

There is one noticeable difference between this move and every other. Somehow in this one, my nickname changed.

Growing up, I’ve been called everything from Jenny Benny, to Steffen, to Jen Steffens, to Jenny Jones, to Joneser, to Steve-Jen – and of course – the standard Jen. After college, I tried to shed my teen-girl image by referring to myself as “Jennifer” professionally and personally. In El Paso, everyone from my boss to my coworkers to my friends went with that. I liked it.

Somehow, that all changed with the move to Florida. It’s actually quite odd. Everyone I’ve met here now calls me “Jen” but apparently one “n” was not good enough. It’s now spelled “Jenn.” I’ve never spelled my name in this fashion, but everyone here seems to think that’s quite common.

For my entire life, I’ve thought the common spelling for Jen was “Jen.” Apparently not. It’s Jenn. Either way, I don’t mind how my nickname is spelled. It’s just sort of unusual that until a few months ago, I’d never really had anyone spell it with two “n’s.”

The first person to do this was my boss. In emails she would use Jenn instead of Jennifer or Jen. Then that snowballed into more folks when they would see that on her emails… Then AJ wrote Jenn on my birthday card. And just a few days ago, my step-father’s sister-in-law did the same in an email.

Now, I’m not frustrated or perturbed by this – more so perplexed if anything.

Why do Floridians spell it Jenn, while others across the country do it the Jen way. I’ve assumed for a long time that the world is becoming smaller and cultural differences are slowly disappearing. Perhaps that’s not the case. Living in several different areas of the country has opened my eyes to both the obvious and subtle regional inconsistencies and differences.

Living in Buffalo, I know that soda is “pop” and pizza and wings are the inseparable duo.
Until living in El Paso, I had no idea what a quinceanera was until walking through the mall and seeing a bunch of teenagers who appeared to be dressed like a wedding party.
Still, I really wish I could roll my “r’s” - but that’s not going to happen.
Until living in Pittsburgh, I did not know you could end a sentence with a proposition.
(There was once a sign in a dorm lobby that said “TV needs fixed”)
And now I know that in Florida, I’m Jenn.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What I accomplished this weekend:

  1. Discovered the entire 75% off candy aisle at Target
  2. Got a facial Saturday morning at our local beauty academy at 1/3 of what a spa charges
  3. Talked on the phone with boyfriend for way too long, as usual
  4. Downloaded Internet channel for the Wii. Super cool feature!
  5. Attended friend's boyfriend's art gallery showing
  6. Met and spent the evening with a random group of people, culminating in a car theft
  7. Exercised for the first time this month
  8. Wore a bikini outdoors in November
  9. Made dinner courtesy of Taco Bell's kit in a box
  10. Frustratingly found out my health flex spending account card is MIA
  11. Watched Revenge of the Nerds III and IV