Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

What's in a name?

I got an email from a high school friend today and she used my high school nickname that I have not heard in about 50 years. It cracked me up and turned on the thinker...

I was born Susan Karolene (sounds like gasoline) Schubert. My family called me Susie. Everyone else called me Susan. Until high school where adults called me Susan and my friends called me schubieschubiedoo or just schubie or just doo. I left schubieschubiedoo in North Carolina when I went to college.

I went to a school outside of Pittsburgh. I was the only student from south of Northern Virginia. I was the only student from the South that most of my fellow students had ever met. It took them about 2 minutes to tag me with the nickname of Sugar which they pronounced mostly Sugah in their 'Southern' accents. I was there for 4 years and most of the people I met never knew my name was Susan.

I had a gynormous battle with my editor when I got my first newspaper job. He wanted my byline to be Sugar Schubert. I said NO. No. NO FUCKING WAY. No. I told him I would write not stories if that was the byline they were going to use. I finally wore him down. And Sugar Schubert was pretty much buried forever. Whew.

But Schubert was an issue. Everyone spelled it Shubert. Those who saw it but never heard it, couldn't pronounce it. Sumpert, Sufford, Howdoyousaythat? So when I married Bob Dennis, I grabbed Dennis. Which turned out to have issues I never imagined and still don't really get.

Even today when I extend my hand and say "Hi, my name is Susan Dennis", more often than not, the response is "Hi, Sandy!". It used to be that the sharper folks would say 'oh wait, no Sandy Dennis is that Wheat Thins lady, isn't she'? Er, no. Sandy Dennis was an esteemed broadway and movie actress. The Wheat Thins lady was Sandy Duncan. These days no one remembers either one of them but they still call me Sandy.

In the 80's I had a job doing marketing for a performing arts theater in Charlotte, NC. TV stations back then were required to include a certain number of public service information in their newscasts every day. My non profit theater qualified and was way more fun than horrible disease non profits. So I was on TV a lot. The guy at the keyboard would ask me to check my name as it would appear and I'd check and it would say Susan Dennis. And then I'd sit down for the interview and the interviewer would say 'So, Sandy, tell us a little about Spirit Square's upcoming season!' That happened more times than not.

I dropped Karolene when I got divorced so now I'm Susan NMI Dennis and I'm ok with that.

Dolls du jour. Zoey wouldn't move.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.