Yesterday, I emailed a fellow parent blogger friend about doing a guest post on his blog. My friend Larry, from the blog Me Myself and Kids, wrote back asking where my name Nate came from. Actually, he simply asked, “Nate?”
Nate is an unusual name for a girl. It is not short for Natalie. It is my nickname. A nickname given to me in college. When I first approached the blog idea to my family no one was happy about it. Everyone wanted to stay anonymous. They also wanted me to keep my name anonymous. I had a list of rules I had to follow before anyone would consent to allowing me to speak about them my blog.
I followed the rules by using my nickname as my pen name. It has worked well. Occasionally a friend of mine will post a comment on my blog using my real name. I always edit the comment and replace it with Nate.
Today I thought I would share how my name Nate came to be. Excited? It has been a dull summer, huh?
In the early 80’s I was a college student. I loved college. Looking back I should have focused more on the academics and less on the partying. One of my favorite things about that time was the movies.
Most of my favorite movies are from the 80’s. So many classics like Raging Bull, E.T., Amadeus and Platoon. Great movies. However, those movies are too classy for me. I like the coming of age films better like Airplane, Back to the Future and Ferris Buehler’s Day Off. Actually, I do not think Airplane is a coming of age film, but it my all time favorite comedy. I can quote most of the movie lines. If you see me at a party, ask me to rattle off a few quotes. Hilarious. Oops, we are way off track here. Back to the origin of my nickname, Nate.
In 1983 two of my favorite 80’s movies came out, Footloose and Flashdance. Footloose lead to my second major movie crush, Kevin Bacon. First crust was John Travolta, from the movie Grease. I still have a crush on Kevin. The movie Flashdance lead to my nickname.
Flashdance, stars Jennifer Beals as a Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school. When the movie came out, I was a dancer want-to-be. I had never taken a single dance class. The movie’s focus was how a young girl without any training, got accepted to a prestigious ballet school. I dreamed the same thing could happen to me.
Instead of practicing my dancing skills everyday in an abandoned warehouse, I thought the best thing to do was enter a dance contest at a local bar. It was a Flashdance contest. I did a little prep for the contest, but at age 19 I was convinced I did not need to prepare much. I was certain someone would scout my talent from the audience and then my life as a dancer would begin.
With a few drinks in me, I performed my dance at the contest. Surprisingly, they asked me to come back the next week for round two. Actually, they asked everyone to come back for round two the next week. My friends were thrilled. I was thrilled. Everyone was thrilled.
For the next week, all I did was practice dancing in my underwear in my dorm room. I should have studied and gone to classes. Who needed college? I was going to be a dancer. On the night of the final dance, I was ready. I had on my hot pink leotard and a ton of make up. I looked hot. I did not have a dance routine, but who needed one? I was certain the first place prize would be mine.
My college friends came to the bar to support me. Everyone was very excited. I was beaming. A star in the making. All my friends would be able to say they saw my humble beginnings at the dance contest. They called my name to perform my dance. My friends started shouting my name and how great I was.
“Nancy the great! Nancy the great!”
I performed my dance with only a minor wardrobe malfunction (my belt fell off). After the performance my friends keep yelling, but this time they changed my name. Nancy the great became Nate.
“Nate the great! Nate the great!”
The name has stuck ever since. Nate is my nickname from college. It is what my college buddies call me. Nancy is what most people call me today, but Nate is my professional name. If I become really famous Nate will the name I go with.
Wondering what ever happened with the dance contest? The dance promoters declared every contestant a winner. We all received a free drink coupon for use next time at the bar. I did not win, but I did not lose either. My friends and I partied well into the night celebrating my victory.
There were no talent scouts in the audience the night of the contest. The next morning it was back to school, with a hangover. I was not too disappointed though. I had my 15 minutes of fame, Flashdance fame and to a great nickname to help remember it all.
What a Feeling!