In Old English, Shelley means “meadow” or “ledge over a hill,” but that’s not my name. My name is Shelly, and it’s without any literal meaning. It’s like a dysfunctional conch shell -- you’re supposed to hear the ocean when you lift it to your ear, but all you hear is silence.
When said by those around me, it doesn’t make a difference to me whether it’s pronounced right or wrong, it’s just a name. Then again, you can’t really pronounce so simple of a name incorrectly. It’s simple, straight to the point, without any fancy pronunciation. It’s dull, like a diamond lacking luster.
Shelly reminds me of the beach, more specifically of the ocean and of the shells scattered across the sandy land. Shelly. The beach is shelly, filled with shells. Shelly is like the feeling of sand between my toes. I don’t like the sand.
My name isn’t like my brother’s, as so often I’m reminded by him. S-hell-y. R-om-y. Om is the sacred mantra of the Hindus. I guess you can say we’re quite the opposite. My parents quite literally jumped at the chance to name their precious son, from the very first moment they found his gender. In a heartbeat, they were scouring sacred texts, looking for a name for the one they knew would succeed most in life. I was the first child, born without proper...