Formerly "My Mother Stuttered"

When I started my blog "My Mother Stuttered," I was newly divorced and very single. I was writing a novel but still dabbling in all the potential possibilities. It wasn't time for the blog of author, Ellen Harger. In fact, that was unimaginable. In 2008, life was about hiking with my two dogs, driving my Mellow Yellow Mini Cooper, and being Loralie Gilmore when I grew up. 

For this unplanned blog, my number one goal was finding a catchy identity so I dug into my past for a story that helped play up my name, Ellen Lynn. After divorce, I was obsessed with identity. I'd had enough of juggling last names, so I focused on what I deemed to be unfaltering and utterly me.

Below is the story in all it's middle school glory.

I was in 7th grade and a boy in band with me wanted to know my middle name. As a clever 13 year-old, I refused until he asked me for my middle initial. We could call this flirting, but if I remember correctly, I was just being stubborn--a rather comfortable state for me.

I finally offered him this gem: "The first syllable of my first name is the initial of my middle name." There! Go figure that out! 

He considered it and with the confidence of any 13 year-old who is totally unsure of his answer, and asked, "L?"

I was not yet sarcastic enough to offer him a cookie.

But that was not good enough. See, I'd caved once so he plied me again and again for my middle name until I said, "Fine! The second syllable of my first name is my middle name!"

This time, after he sounded it out, there was no uncertainty. 

There was no hesitation. 
"Ellen Lynn." 

This time the full power of junior high orneriness came erupting forth as he proclaimed, "YOUR MOTHER STUTTERED WHEN SHE NAMED YOU!"

I was horrified! What a mean thing to say! So I didn't tell my mom this story until I was a senior in high school. 
When I did, she laughed and laughed until she had tears in her eyes.