The story of how I got my name is kind of like some of the other Leslies. Except, instead of being named after the amazing Leslie Caron, I was named after Lesley Gore - who sang, "It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To."
I asked my mom why she named me after someone who, in her songs, gets mistreated by boys over and over, only to happily run back to them after they're done cheating on her. (This does negate the awesome, "You Don't Own Me," of course.) She told me that my dad had broken up with her in high school to go out with a girl named Judy. Just like in the song. I didn't know how to respond to that, so I never asked again.
Nevertheless, I was the only Leslie in my small hometown in Iowa. As a kid, if anyone saw my name before meeting me, they assumed I was a boy. This was particularly upsetting to a 4th Grader named Kate, from a neighboring school. Our teachers had assigned us to each other as pen pals - except instead of being form someplace exotic, we were from DeWitt and Welton.
When we got to the school to meet each other, I was surprised to find Kate in hysterics. She'd believed she'd been paired with a boy. I'd like to think she was relieved to discover I was, in fact, a girl.
There was a Wesley my age, and we even had the same homeroom in 5th Grade. It was very confusing - we never knew who the teacher was calling on. Fortunately, he moved away. And once again, I was the only Leslie (or homonym equivalent) in town. It was very convenient. Anyone from out of town looking for me just asked around for Leslie and was pointed to the correct house.
But I was in for a rude awakening when I went to the University of Iowa. There were four other Leslie Johnsons in the student directory. And even though each Leslie was spelled differently, we still got each other's calls at all hours of the night.
I've always loved my name. It fits me in so many ways. And I have a great party trick. I can spell my name out on a calculator. Try it: type 317537 and turn the calculator upside down. It only works with this spelling however. Still, it's an icebreaker that has gotten me through decades of awkward situations.
I'm thrilled to be in the company of such amazing Leslies and Lesleys! I hope you'll continue to visit The Leslies - A First Name in Mystery!