that girl.

March 5, 2010

“Really…” (extended pause while major brain activity causes face to smush up in unattractive way) “… Kyle?  Did your parents want a boy?”

Part of my job entails meeting new people.  I have to play nice and make sure they’re happy.  I get the aforementioned question almost daily… some days it’s thrown across the bar multiple times.  Some people ask this in earnest (which, to me, emphasizes their dimwittedness), while some think they are being clever.  Either way, its rude.  The asshole voice in my head always answers, ”I don’t know.  Did your parents want an idiot?”

Keeping with the happy customer theme, what actually comes out of my mouth is a quick, “No”, followed by a tight smile and raised eyebrow.  This is not rude, because they asked a question and I answered it honestly.  More often than not at this point many start to squirm and realize that they might have wanted to use a little more tact.

But some feel they have not fully demonstrated how thick they are and press on with, ”Well, Kyle is a boys name you know.”

By now, bad Kyle in my head is screaming, “No…  aw shit!  Really? Huh, I wonder why no one has mentioned that to me before?!  Must be MY PARENTS are the idiots!

Instead, my canned response to this is “I don’t look like a boy, do I?” which generally garners a chuckle or two, allows dirty old men make a dirty old joke and we almost always move on with things.

Except for when, “I’ve never met a girl Kyle before,” slips out from between their lips.

Do I need to provide additional evidence as to my ability to check the “female” box on questionnaires?  Why must it be taken to this level?  You’ve established that you are a moron.  I get it.  No need to make me more obtuse by sneezing your stupidity out into the air and allowing it to land on people in your general vicinity.  (Because we all know you can catch the dumb!)

All I can say to that is, “Welp, now ya have,” and get them a beer.

I had one encounter through my last job (you know, that professional one that was supposed to take me somewhere,) with a very professional and high ranking someone at a local university.  This person said “Oh, Kyle.  That’s an interesting name.  Where did it come from?”  And what did my foolish ass blurt out?  ”Oh, I made it up myself!”  (Cue uncomfortable laugh track.)  Definitely should have held on to that gem and tried it on for size with a different audience.

Rest assured that not everyone I meet puts on/ gets such a show.  I’ve had many different reactions, from people telling me about their friend or relative girls named Kyle, asking if it’s short for something, misunderstandings about the actual word coming out of my mouth (Carol?)… and the boy named Kyle that asked if I thought it would be weird if we went out.  (Yes, it would be weird.)  (Even though he was cute.)

It’s a blessing and a curse, I feel.  Many people don’t forget my name, so I guess that qualifies as leaving a lasting impression.  Great for interviews and such.  On the other hand, I had a credit card whose customer service rep thought I was Kyle’s wife when I called to have the credit limit lowered.  I had to physically go to a department store this card was associated with, go to a cashier, have them call security, present my credit card and drivers license to the rent-a-cop and allow THEM to call customer service to verify I was who I claimed to be.  (I promptly cancelled that card, and started adding my middle name to everything that has my name on it.)

Get with the times, folks.  Wikipedia recognizes Kyle as a male and female moniker.

I’ve found here that it’s Irish/ Scottish (Gaelic) in origin (Kyle is a somewhat common Scottish surname as well,) with definitions for both male and female.  (I remember a while ago finding a website that said it was a traditional female name of Celtic origin… but I am having trouble finding that website again.  Stupid internet, being all vast and stuff.)

Sure, it’s not common for girls, but at least it’s not one of those names that my parents decided to make up the spelling for so that everyone in the world will be forever confused.  (Screw with your pets names, people, don’t make evident your lack of creativity/ spelling skills on your child’s name.)

My parents chose to name me Kyle because my mother had known a woman by that name, and they liked it.  I’ve grown to love being a Kyle.  It has caused me grief over the years, but I am certain there are major parts of my personality that would change if I had grown up with an alternate handle.

But if you ask me a dumb question about it, expect a smart ass response.

  • Susan

    I love you being a Kyle too! haha.

    Just so you know I find this funny because I’ve recently been telling people we are going to work together and how excited I am about it. I’ll usually say something like “my friend Kyle is gonna be working there too. She’s great.” Then the person in the conversation that doesn’t know you (and who I probably wasn’t talking to anyways) says “She? Kyle is a girl?”. To which I always want to say “No, I just don’t know how to use pronouns properly”. So you aren’t the only one who has to answer these questions!!

  • Chris

    Remember when you came back from Australia and your name had changed to Coil? That was hilarious.

  • Susan

    Also, on a side note, I always get “Osborne? Any relation to Ozzy?”. So pathetic.

  • Lisa

    I know 3 girl kyles….and I once had a student named Khaliha (Kayla). Figure that one out!

  • Joy

    I love your name – always have – always will!
    Not surprising since I gave it to you. It fits you
    to a “T” or is that a “K”?

Previous post:

Next post: