I’ve been “Abby” for most of my life. There was no reason not to be. My official name is Abigail; Abby is the normal nickname, and I grew up being called by my nickname. Abigail was reserved only for those times when I was in trouble or graduating from kindergarten or signing up for Facebook. There was that one time a high school friend tried to nickname me “Gail” but it didn’t stick–Thank goodness! (If your name is Gail, I’m sure it fits you just perfectly.) So besides the day-long Gail thing, I’ve been Abby.
It’s funny, as I write “Abby” now, it doesn’t even look like me, even though the me in my junior year of college was still going by “Abby”. It was also my first year at a new university, and I don’t remember how I got the job, but I worked at a Baskin’ Robbins during my junior and senior years. My last night there, my co-workers made a sign saying that I was graduating and leaving so tip the poor ice cream girl. Everyone thought it was from high school…
There was only a handful of employees at Baskin’ Robbins, mostly girls. One girl became the best friend anyone could ever ask for; even if she did think this was just a “ma and pa” ice cream shop. Oh, Nicole… Since I was in college, despite my apparent looks of being a high-schooler, myself and the two other college girls there quickly gained responsibility at the store. The owners were an Indian couple who were kind and generous employers. I don’t remember the first time she cooked for me, but she fed me many dinners, and it was good. She made a killer Mexican Pizza for me multiple times; I can still remember how good it was. And after returning from India, she gave me costume jewelery worn at their weddings, and I stared at the beautiful henna all over her hands and arms. The more I got to know them, the more fascinated I became with Indian culture.
It wasn’t right away… for a while when she wrote the schedule she used my full name. But one day I noticed Abi written on the schedule. To her it was simple; she heard people called me Abi and it was the name I introduced myself as. So to her, spelling Abby, Abi, only seemed natural. I had never seen Abby spelled with an “i” before, and I loved it!
Since Abby was a nickname, it wasn’t like I was actually changing my name (my reasoning when convincing my mother that it’s not that big of a deal to now go by “Abi”). For my graduation party (from college, people!) a friend helped me make an invitation which I wrote “Abi” on it for the first time. Hindsight, maybe I should of include my alternate spelling as to not confuse anyone… My mom said my soccer coach’s wife asked if she had been spelling my name wrong all along.
What started out as a just a shorten version of Abigail on a work schedule, became my new name. I still get “Abby” now and then, and I don’t really mind. I usually don’t correct them, unless they ask. But I’ll be honest, it just doesn’t look like my chestnut praline latte from Starbucks with “Abby” written on the cup. That’s just not my name anymore.