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Tony Grist

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My Name [Feb. 21st, 2016|11:20 am]
Tony Grist
My parents named me Anthony. With an "h". It wasn't a family name and I suppose they simply chose it because they liked it. I like it too.

I like the associations. Mark Antony was a cool  guy (at least he is in Shakespeare) and St Anthony is my kind of saint, solitary, fixated- out there in the desert seeing visions and combatting demons; I've written poems about him.

I went to the sort of schools where everybody- even your mates- call you by your surname. So I was Anthony at home and Grist in the outer world. I never picked up a nickname. School friends sometimes addressed me as Gristle but it didn't stick (I'm glad to say.)

And then- I suppose in my late teens, but I can't remember exactly when- everybody except my immediate family took to calling me Tony- and I have answered to it ever since.

The associations it carries for me are 1. Tony Lumpkin the amiable, clod-hopping country squire in Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer and 2. Tony Armstrong Jones- Princess Margaret's social-climbing, playboy husband. I don't think I'm the least bit like either of them. Then of course there's Tony Blair- and all I want to say about that is I was a Tony long before he was.

Tony is an acceptable name, but I don't particularly relate to it. I think of it as a label that has been attached to me- as if I were luggage in transit.

It'll do for the time being...
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2016-02-21 11:24 am (UTC)
There's always St Anthony of Padua (San Antonio for me) patron saint of things lost and of lost causes!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-02-21 11:48 am (UTC)
He never attracted me that much.

Maybe you know the story about the man who fell off a tall building and called out to St Anthony to save him.

A muscular brown arm arrested him in mid flight and a gruff voice demanded, "Which St Anthony?"

And the man replied. "St Anthony of Paduaaaaaaaagh!

Edited at 2016-02-21 11:50 am (UTC)
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From: cmcmck
2016-02-21 12:21 pm (UTC)
Groan :o)

Joan of Arc's my birth day patron anyway. There'd be those who might say that was apt!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-02-21 01:11 pm (UTC)
That's nice. I heart St Joan.
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From: cmcmck
2016-02-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
She's a strange saint in many ways.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-02-21 06:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Catholic church doesn't usually canonise people who were burned for heresy.
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From: cmcmck
2016-02-22 11:31 am (UTC)
Nor women who reject their 'expected' role........
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-02-21 11:25 am (UTC)
It's an interesting paradox, that sometimes the people who know you best are the only ones who *don't* use the familiar form of your name...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-02-21 11:50 am (UTC)
Diminuitives are usually affectionate, but they can also be reductive.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2016-02-21 11:47 pm (UTC)
Names are interesting. I recently changed my surname, post-divorce, and I decided to take my mother's middle name, which I've never had before but always kind of liked for it's connection with her side of the family - and as a result I now have official documents with three different names, and because it's all a bit new I still occasionally sign myself with my married name, some times without the middle name and some times with my full, current name.

-It also means I now have three completely impossible names for international travel. Søren Markvard Riis... I like it, though. It feels like me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-02-22 08:14 pm (UTC)
I have a middle name- John- after my father- with I hardly ever use. I did however- in an act of familial piety- hand it on to my eldest son as his middle name.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2016-02-22 08:26 pm (UTC)
Mine is a none-gendered middle name that could also work as a surname - legally my middle name can be considered part of my first name or part of my surname, so it's a bit of a muddle in terms of booking plane tickets and stuff like that... The original meaning of "Markvard" is "field warden" or "border guard" - perhaps a bit of a strange name for a bleeding-heart leftie?
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2016-02-22 04:45 am (UTC)
My mother named me Cheryl with a C. The first time I went to a dentist I was in second grade. To show me what the drill would feel like, he used it to carve my initials into my fingernail. Only he put "SH" instead of "CH" because that is how it sounds.

My father told me the "SH" stood for "shit." Then he got mad when I cried.

I have adopted Saint Anthony, patron saint of lost causes, as my personal patron saint. It seems like destiny.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-02-22 08:14 pm (UTC)
Your father sounds like a piece of work.

Cheryl is pretty.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2016-02-22 10:30 pm (UTC)
He took delight in tormenting his children. It was the way he amused himself.

He had hard hearted, unkind parents, and instead of making sure his own children never felt the way he did as a child, he took advantage of our weakness to feel powerful.

As an adult, I feel sorry for him. As a child, I hated and feared him. He has been dead for 20 years now. I still dream about him from time to time; often I am a child and he is being cruel.
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