Yes, that is my name. It has been for 30 years and it will be for many more. Heather was the fifth most common name for girls born in the U.S. in 1977 and 1978. It made it’s appearance on the top five in 1974. By 1979, parents were sick of hearing the name Heather and it dropped off the list.
Thanks to having a common first name, and one of the few popular names that couldn’t be shortened, I was forced to find other ways to distinguish my moniker from the other Heathers in my life. There was the Hether phase, documented by my seventh grade science teacher, Mr. Eveland, signing my yearbook with something to the effect of, “Hether, I hope you have a great summer. Can’t wait to see how you spell your name next year.” There was the Heather-Aynne phase, mostly when I wrote in APA. Then there was Heatheraynne, a name my boss complained about putting on my nametag, but there were three Heathers and we were all desperate to be individuals.
The funny thing is that I almost wasn’t Heather. It’s been a while since I’ve heard the story, but it’s something to the effect of my dad not being able to picture his daughter as a 35 year old woman, wearing pig tails and in therapy because her parents named her Heidi. No offense to the millions of Heidis in the world, but I’m glad he had that vision. I don’t think Heidi would be a fitting name for me!
And yes, Aynne really is my middle name. It’s pronounced just like Ann and Anne. No, my parents weren’t Ayn Rand fans. From what I gather, mom just wanted to be different.
And now you know the story of my name. Aren’t you glad you tuned in?