Warm Cookies With A Whiskey Chaser

The Perfect Mix of Comfort and Shenanigans

Blogroll Me!
100 Things About Me
Tinmen Don't Dance
Humble Sandwich
A Son from Another Mother; Matt
Auburn Pisces
Splenda In The Grass
the bokey chronicles
Jeffrey Ricker
Rocket Man
The Beauty of All Things
No Milk Please
A Life In The Day
Shadow Footprints
Scott B Blog
Seth Hancock Photography
Famous Author Rob Byrnes
Watersea's Ocean Bloggie
Cheap Blue Guitar
Does This Mean I'm A Grownup?
Upside Down Hippo
Loose Ends

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Your Name is WHAT???

So yesterday I had this whirlwind day of catching up with all the things I've needed to do since I've literally been "out of touch" with the outside of my house world for over a week. Charlie calls it "The Tyranny of the Urgent", all these must-do things that keep life running smoothly. If you can call it that. I knew I needed to prioritize or I wasn't going to be successful. I knew that I had a long-awaited night out with the hubby to look forward to, so it was imperitive that I muck through the day and get those things done in order that I enjoy the evening out without the proverbial monkey on my back. Margaritas taste SO much better when you've completed a TTD (Things To Do) list.

First things first. In all the house fixing hubbub, I've neglected to mention that I received word from the Secretary of State that I PASSED my Notary exam with flying colors! My sister Loke and I had been waiting on pins and needles for two weeks since we took the test, calling each other every day to see if one of us had gotten their letter. We were both pretty sure that we'd bombed. On Thursday afternoon, she'd called me to let me know that she'd gotten her letter and she passed. So now I was extra worried. Why hadn't I gotten my letter yet? Being the ultimate pessimist, I was sure that meant that I'd failed. HOURS went by. No mail. I paced. No mail. I looked up and down the street while I shoved dirt. No mail. FINALLY, at 7PM the letter carrier arrived. I nearly knocked him down running at him to get my mail. I think I startled him, as I stood there ripping the letter open. YAY ME! I'm gonna be a Notary! Now, according to my letter, I have to go get my fingerprints scanned. I put that on my TTD list for Monday.

Monday arrives. The TTD is pretty extensive. First the police department to get fingerprints scanned, then the post office to mail packages, then the grocery store, then Michael's to get poster board for Caris' project and more yarn for knitting (my new diet technique...knitting is supposed to keep me from stuffing my chub-a-lub face!). If I stick to the list, I'm gonna be fine.

Stop number one; the police department. This was a police sub-station literally run by little old ladies who volunteer. Make no mistake, they look proper and official in their blue uniforms. I had a 2:00 appointment and I arrived 10 minutes early. I informed the lady at the front desk why I was there and she smiled and asked for my ID and my scan paperwork. Now, please understand. I'm Hawaiian. My FULL LEGAL name is longer than the alphabet. It's never been an easy process to fill out forms that ask for your FULL LEGAL name and as we all know, every form you fill out asks for your FULL LEGAL name. For me, and members of my family, this is no easy task. So I hand the lady my form, and my driver's license. She looks at them and then gets that tell-tale look on her face and scrunches up her brow. Then she looks up at me:

Lady 1: This is your name?

Me: Yep. That's my name.

Lady 1: WOW. I've never seen anything like this.

Now she turns away from me and calls her collegues over. They look over her shoulder at my ID and paperwork. They look at me.

Lady 2: Are you Hawaiian?

Me: Yep. I'm Hawaiian.

Lady 3: Does this name mean something?

Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Is she an idiot? Of course it means something." I used to think that too when I was younger and I got this same thing over and over again. But now I just take it all in stride. It's part of the process. I've learned not to fight it. I've learned it's a gift. I've learned it's a wonderful conversation starter and I've met many great people this way.

Me: Yes, it has a meaning. (I already anticipate the next question)

Lady 3: What does it mean?

No matter how many times I answer this question, it still causes me to blush. It sounds so conceited saying it, and yet I have to remember that I didn't name myself. My mother did. So there's no reason for me to be embarrassed. But I also feel it's my cultural responsibility to educate and so I always break the name down into the literal translation, word for word. Maybe in this way, I can help people see how beautiful the Hawaiian language is. So here we go:

Me: The first part is "Pua"; that means "blossom" or "flower". It's pronounced POOH-AH.

The Ladies: Oooooo. Pretty.

Me: The second part is "Makana"; that means "gift". It's pronounced MAH KAH NAH.

The Ladies: Ahhhhh. Nice.

Me: The third part is "Okalani"; that means "of the heavens". It's pronounced OH KAH LAH KNEE.

The Ladies: Ohhhhh. Beautiful.

Me: This part of my name, put together, means "Heavenly Flower Gift".

The Ladies: (Looking at each other and then smiling at me) How Lovely!

Now please understand that this is just my MIDDLE name. I have a "formal" first name, a maiden name, and of course, my married name. Because I'll be fingerprinted and a background check will be run before I get my commission from the Secretary of State, I have to list ALL of my names. Now the ladies are enjoying the conversation, telling me about all of their trips to Hawaii and how much they love it. They ask me questions about whether or not I speak the language fluently (I don't), whether or not I can dance the hula (I do), how I ended up living in California (I met a Californian when I was a teenager and married him).

As pleasant as all of this conversation has been, they suddenly realize that someone has to take all of my information and put it into the LiveScan system. Now they aren't as excited about my name. Lady One offers the paperwork to Lady Two. Lady Two offers the paperwork to Lady Three. They all have the doe in headlights look. I'm very close to offering to enter the data myself, just to get the process going. Just then, Lady One says to Ladies Two and Three; "Rock, Paper, Scissors?"

That's a first.


Post a Comment

<< Home