The Return of Campy, or, Say My Name

My name is Kathi. KATHI. Pronounced just like…Kathi. Okay, okay, pronounced like Cathy. Or Kathy. Or, Kath-eeeee. It’s not an unusual name. According to the Urban Dictionary, Kathi is:
the kind of person who tends to care for others more than themselves. Kathi is the kind of person who may not think the highest of themselves; but is the sweetest, caring, most beautiful person inside and out whether they believe it or not. Kathi’s are very artistic and creative. They also have an edge to them, you definitely don’t want to get on their bad sides, cause they will kick your ass so bad your ancestors will feel it!
How’s that for impressive? My gosh, I’m positively blushing. Of course, The Urban Dictionary might not be the most official source of information, but unfortunately, there’s no Wikipedia entry for poor little Kathi.
Here’s the thing. Unlike many Kathy’s, my name is not a nickname or a shortening of Katherine or Kathleen. It’s just Kathi. And, to add insult to injury (or parental abuse to parental abuse, sorry Mom), my middle name is Sue. Yup, that’s right. Not Susan, or Susannah, just Sue. So, in other words, my parents didn’t love me enough to give me two real names. I was their first, long awaited, long desired, beautiful daughter and I got bubkiss! Or Kathi. Or Kathi Sue.
You would think I would be over this by now; after all I’ve had 52 years to live with it. And I basically am, having reconciled myself long ago to a lifetime of not being able to find those tiny little license plates that you would put on your bike spelling out your name. But here’s the problem. No-one ever spells my name right. I’m not kidding about this; I once got a birthday card from my MOTHER with my name spelled Kathy. Maybe she was being ironic, but I don’t think so.
Sorry, back to the point. And the point is, not only can no-one ever spell my name right, but it is frequently mispronounced. I guess I could forgive the random repairman who sees it written and says, thank you for your business Katie. I get Katie a lot. I happen to love the name Katie, so that’s not too bad. But since when is “ath” pronounced “ate”? It’s weird.
But what’s even weirder are the other variations of my name that I get. I’m going to take some responsibility here, apparently my very special speech pattern is almost inaudible to humans and dogs alike. Before you laugh, I’ll share that I had to attend a speech therapist when I was four years old. Now don’t you feel bad? And they did a good job, because I talk a lot! Every day. But I guess they didn’t think they had to cover the whole name thing.
Because when I, say, phone in a takeout order (a regular occurrence), I know I cannot expect to pick it up under my name. It won’t be there. But if I go to the counter and say, pick up for Callie, voila, there’s my taco! Or, hi I called in for Kaffee. Here you go, have a BLT. By far, the most frequent misnomer is Campy! Which is simply adorable by the way, but who the hell is named Campy? Why would you assume what you were hearing would be Campy instead of Kathi (or Kathy, which sounds just the same and was ranked in 2005 as the 888th most popular girls name)?
I found that last little stat on Wikipedia, where of course I had to look under Kathy, since Kathi was not to be found (the bastards!). And I was somewhat interested to know that Kathy’s popularity had dropped significantly since its heyday in 1958, when it was the No. 14 name of baby girls. But here’s the most disturbing thing I read on that page:
According to The Baby Name Personality Survey by Bruce Lansky and Barry Sinrod (1990), people imagine a Kathy to be “a small dark-haired woman who is quiet, friendly, and very kind.” The name Kathy spelled with a “C” conjures a different image, according to the survey.
What the what? Well, now I’m glad my name is spelled with the almighty I. Because I may be friendly, and I try to be kind, but small, dark and quiet are not attributes that have ever been ascribed to me. I almost want to find Bruce and Barry and kick their asses so bad their ancestors feel it! It’s what a Kathi would do. Or a Campy! She’s a badass too.
The end, for now


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