When I was a six-year-old and heading off to school for the first time, my mother pulled me aside and cautioned, "Don't ever let anyone call you "Mary".
I had a double first name, "Mary Montague", named for my mother and for my father. It was a long name for me to say and to write. However, my mother was "Mary", and we couldn't have the same name.
All through elementary school and high school, Mother's words rang inside my head. No one called me "Mary". However, when I got to college, my three roommates were appalled at the long name. They decided the nickname "Monti" was a much better choice. My mother was not pleased, but I reminded her that no one called me "Mary".
Now, as an author and an artist, I am concerned with branding. Many of my friends call me "Monti", but that's not the name I want to use in branding me and my work.
I like the name "Mary", but that name belonged to my mother and also to my mother-in-law. It's not my name. Whenever anyone calls me "Mary", I remember my mother's words. It's funny how what someone said so long ago can have great impact now.
Words have meaning. Sometimes we don't realize how much.
Please, don't call me "Mary".