-The one thing I definitely knew about college before I came here was that I would get a nickname. In every college movie ever made nicknames are handed out like free condoms at the health center. I was so excited to get my new name. Don't get me wrong, I like my name; it suits me very well. But I never had a nickname growing up, so by the time I was 18, I was good and ready for one.
-"I wonder what they'll call me?" I pondered over cigarettes in my car the night before I left for freshman year. "I bet they'll call me Dr. Drunk because I party so hard," I surmised. However, by the time my first semester of college had gone by, I was still nicknameless. "What can I do about this?" I wondered.
-Being dumb, I decided I would try to give myself a nickname. "Hey guys," I called out to my rabble of friends one evening over hot slop at the caf, "you guys should call me condom from now on," I suggested. Why condom? I didn't really have a reason to be called that, I just thought it sounded funny. "Hey condom, toss me a beer." "Condommmmm, how you been, dude?" "Have you met my friend condom?" The hilarity of these situations grew and grew as I replayed them in my mind.
-My friends, however, were not amused. "That's gay," a few of my friends suggested. They pointed out that one can never give themselves a nickname; it has to come by divine inspiration. Usually, the rule is anyone who has given themselves a nickname will be given an embarrassing one by their friends. I was exempt from this because, as they pointed out, "Your name is weird enough, we're not giving you a nickname too."
-I didn't even get a shameful nickname and I remain nicknameless to this day. Just once I want to be known as dingleberry or skidmark or shit-tooth. Just one time I want to answer to the call of "beandog, your burger is ready." Why can't I be introduced as cockring or hamster? Why do I have to be just plain Streeter Seidell? Sure, I get called Street and Streets a lot, but that doesn't count since it comes from the root of my name.
-I know a lot of kids want to escape their nicknames. I have a friend named Ryan who has been known to everyone as Boner since the beginning of freshman year. He hates it and tries to get people to stop calling him that. Why? What is so great about Ryan? Not that much. Here my friend complains about his nickname when I would kill to have one. Shit, I'll even take his.
-But you can't do that, you can't steal a friend's nickname. You have to earn your own. And I know I have earned at least one in my three years here. The strange thing is, even with my lack of nickname experience, I can delegate nicknames out to my friends with ease. What's your name? Tim? You shall be called teabag. Who are you? Matt Lynch? You will be lynch mob. You have red hair? I shall call you Loser. I just can't seem to find one for myself.
-Maybe I should be happy that I have been through almost all of college without aquiring some embarrassing moniker. I'll never have to explain to my wife why my college buddies call me "Le Douche." I'll never have to answer to "Chlamydia" or "Herps." And I'll never have my parents say that they can't figure out who this DonkeyDong person is that everyone keeps calling for.
-But there is still a part of me that wants that shame, that embarrassment. I feel like I have missed out on one of the most quintessential aspects of college life. So, if you have a good nickname for me, email it to me. I'll choose the one that suits me the best and demand that all my friends call me that. When they protest, I'll simply point to your email for proof that someone else gave it to me. Then they'll be saying, "Oh, I guess your right, Tickles."
(Do you have a funny nickname? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how you got it.)
Mary-Kate, why haven't you written me yet?