Friday, December 09, 2005

Why Mrs. Wheezer?

I am very reluctant to use my real name on the internet. Call me paranoid (or not, I really don't care), but I don't want every Tom, Dick and Jane out there knowing precisely what I'm called. I guess I feel there is power in a name. I also don't want to make it too easy on stalkers to find me.

Anyway, my dad bestowed the oh-so-lovely nickname 'Wheezer' on me shortly after he and Mom watched Steel Magnolias for the first time. My adorable younger brother ensured the nickname would never die. There is a character named Ouiser (pronounced 'wheeza') in that movie. Ouiser is consistently and emphatically grumpy (Ouiser: I'm not crazy, I've just been a very bad mood for the last 40 years!). She grows tomatoes that she doesn't eat and wears big, floppy hats because 'that's what old Southern women do.' [For more great quotes, go here.] My real first name bears an unfortunate resemblance to Ouiser, and the male members of my family embraced that coincidence with perfect glee.

After years of 'Hey, Wheezer, what's up?' from Dad and little bro, I am embracing my 'Ouiserness.' Yes, I am crabby at times. Yes, I am a southerner at heart. Yes, I love dogs. Yes, I am a bit eccentric and don't spend too much time trying to hide my flaws. And yes, I have broken more than my fair share of eggs. Besides, when you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The nickname's been with me for 15 years, so I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon.


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