This morning I went to Chickfila for breakfast because I wanted to and can’t make it before my 9:30 class tomorrow. When the man serving me asked for a name for my order, he paused and was clearly struggling to spell Anastasia (you would’ve known I went to Chickfila if you follow my dontmakemeleaveunc Instagram page… go follow it).
I’m surprised that all he did was take a few extra seconds to butcher the spelling of my name. Normally I get asked questions like:
“Can you repeat that?”
“What does that mean?”
“Wait, is that in a different language?”
and my personal favorite, “Omg were you named after the Disney movie?!”
First of all, Anastasia is not a Disney movie, it’s 20th Century Fox. I mean it couldn’t be a Disney film because Rasputin sells his soul in the first scene and vows to murder an entire family… not exactly a family friendly topic. The movie was released in 1997 and I was born in 1993 (tomorrow it’ll have been 22 years since then). So no, I was not named after a movie. I was named after the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the last Russian tzar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. My mother studied the Romanovs and named me after the youngest princess and named my sister after the prince Alexei (sorry Lex, you’re named after a boy).
Other than the weird looks I get when I tell people my name, I get a wide variety of mispronunciations of my name. Nope, it’s not pronounced as anesthesia nor is it exotic sounding so don’t say it with an accent.
Anna is a normal name, “st” is a common sound, and we have a continent named Asia that we all can pronounce without any problems.
Put it all together and what do you get? An-na-sta-sia/ an-na-stay-shuh/ An-na-stay-juh/ I can’t spell phonetically so I’m not sure if any of those make any sense.
Regardless, I fail to see how my name is that hard to say. Others haven’t always agreed with me and quite a few people don’t use my name at all.
I’m not entirely sure the origins of my nickname “Annie” but I attribute the name to my friend Abby back in the first grade. I remember that Abby didn’t want to try to say my four-syllable name so instead, she gave me the name Annie. That may be completely fabricated, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
No matter how this name came about, it stuck. People from elementary school through high school graduation called me Annie and continue to call me by that name. I don’t think I’ve ever introduced myself as Annie but that’s what everyone from home calls me.
Except for my family. They call me Anastasia– always have, always will. Occasionally Anastasia Noelle if I do something wrong (mostly used by my parents or my cheerleading coach in high school). My mom called me Annie once and it was the most uncomfortable, unnatural, terrible thing and neither of us liked it, so that never happened again.
Because I introduce myself as Anastasia, very few people in college know that Annie is a name some people call me. Freshman year I lived with a girl from my high school who called me Annie, so people I met with her call me Annie. Other than freshman year friends, everyone else calls me Anastasia.
I was reminded of this dichotomy between home friends and school friends in my Current Issues in Mass Communication class in the journalism school (this is the class where our blogs are compiled on a Rebel Mouse site). Everyone in the class calls me Anastasia except for Jenny and Brooke, two girls I know from home. I’ve actually known Brooke since kindergarten and she’s always called me Annie (this brings doubt to the story about the origin of Annie happening in the first grade… oh well, just go with it). I’m not sure when I met Jenny– either in the 8th grade or sometime in high school– but I’m good friends with her sisters and they both call me Annie, so she does too. I think it’s funny when we’re having a group discussion and when people reference something I’ve said, there are two names referring to me. Well, not ha ha funny but I think it’s interesting and I don’t know if anyone picks up on it.
I don’t mind the name Annie, but unless you’re from home or currently call me that, do not start calling me that. I’ll repeat that: do not call me Annie unless you’ve called me that prior to reading this blog. That will irritate me (which is weird because I don’t mind being called Annie by people that know me from home).
Don’t call me Anna. I won’t answer. I won’t name names, but a friend of mine has started calling me Ana and I am pretty vocal about hating it, but she doesn’t care. Actually I’ll name names: Summer Allen, I’m talking about you.
To summarize, I like my name so unless you currently call me Annie, call me Anastasia. I’m named after a princess so by the transitive property, I’m a princess. Actually, you can call me Princess if you want. I’ll answer to that.