Last night, my girlfriends and I went out to a movie and some much-needed post-holiday catch-up time. My friend Jenny and I ended the night like we often do, sitting in a minivan way later than when we intended to go home (so, like 10:00) talking about parenting and relationships and mindful living and Michael Jackson.
Jenny is a well-educated, well-spoken strong and determined woman. She moved her dreadlocks and herbal remedies and anatomy books to Michigan six years ago and opened up a studio for massage, yoga, and lactation consulting. The girl is a force.
A few years ago, in the midst of another transcendental minivan sesh, I told her I’ve never felt my name suited me. It’s a 1980s, poofy-bangs name.
“I’m Stacaaay! From the Vallaaay!”
“Jenny’s just as bad!” she chimed in. “Liiike, hiiii! I’m Jennaaay!”
Of course “Stacaaay” and “Jennaaay” stuck, and since then, whenever we have a good talk, we end it by thanking each other for another great session of “Actual Thoughts! With Jennaaay and Stacaaay!”
You have to read that with a lot of exclamation points.
I’ve thought about my name a good deal, but I’ve never researched it before. Honestly, I didn’t even know what it meant. It’s not a family name. My mom just liked it, and that was it. My older sister is Kristin. My younger brother is Mark. Neither of those names would appear on an episode of “Actual Thoughts!”
This morning, as I wondered about the origins of and associations with my name, I wound up doing some
Googling scholarly research. And let me tell you, the findings were riveting…
I am a Stacy. I peaked in the 1970s, and tapered off in the 80s. My average age is 44 years old.
I am Zack Morris’s heart throb at the Malibu Sands Beach Club.
(That was a tough goodbye.)
I’m Lisa Simpson’s doll…
…with nothing relevant to say.
(Noticing a Malibu theme here — perhaps I have been displaced?)
I am a pita chip, available with Cinnamon and Sugar, or Simply Naked.
I am not genetically modified.
According to Urban Dictionary, I am:
The coolest person you will ever meet.
An awesome friend.
Phil: “Oh man. I got a new girlfriend. She is such a Stacy.”
Jon: “Sweet, I wish I could find a Stacy.”
Stacy was the quintessential name for a teen girl in the ’80s. Stacys on TV and in the movies were usually portrayed as being popular hand having permed blonde hair.
I know a Stacy and she’s fat and not very cute.
Okay, okay — but what does Stacy actually mean?
Stacy is a diminutive of Anastasia. In Greek, it means fruitful and productive. In Latin, dependable.
Really? When I think of fruitful, I think of Kate. Hannah.
Sarahs and Lauras are productive.
Erins are dependable. Or Susans. Susans will come through for you.
I am a Stacy, though. Was there a point in time when I resembled a Stacy? How far back in time must I travel to feel like a Stacy?
Not so much.
Too far. If that swimsuit had side-ties, though…
Ooo, we might be there. This girl has an Exposé cassette tape in her Walkman. She’s part of a trio of BFFs named Stacy, Traci, and Casey. (Is that a third of a friendship heart necklace she’s wearing?) She has a visible curling iron line in her bangs (although they’re in need of a good teasing and some White Rain). Her turtleneck has shoulder pads stitched in, and you don’t wanna know what she paid for those Z. Cavariccis.
That might be a Stacy. Or the closest thing to a Stacy I ever was.
(Well, except for that one day in 2014.)
Maybe I just need get back to that place — own my name. Dress like a Stacy. Feel like a Stacy. Resurrect some bangs. Chew more gum, maybe? I could spray myself with Designer Imposters and lip-sync with Debbie Gibson.
I do own leg warmers.
Or, I suppose I could always change my name. But what would I choose? Something solid and predictable, like Jane? Grace? Or maybe something nature-inspired, like Iris?
No Y’s. No trendy spellings. I am so far from trendy.
No last-syllable “ee” sound. I’m not perky enough for that.
A name change is so extreme, though. It would be a huge paperwork hassle. And I’d feel bad if I hurt my parents’ feelings — especially my mom, who seems so pleased with her choice.
Talk to me, friends. Help a Valley Girl out.
Are you a Stacy, or do you know one?
What’s your name? Does it suit you?
How would I look with bangs? And how’s the real estate market in Malibu?
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