A few people in my life have called me ‘Mon’. My favourite was a girl I worked with who would greet me with, “Hey, Mon!” like we were a couple of Rastafarians.
I guess its time to let you in on a secret I’ve never revealed; my name is Monica. Not a common name, hard to nickname. “Nic”, my dad called me sometimes; “Nic the pick the old Jellystick”.
‘Mon’ is OK. Mony I do not tolerate. Call me ‘Mony’ and I will tell you not to ever call me that again.
Yesterday I was getting a mammogram. There was a 91-year-old volunteer whose job it was to instruct us how to get ready. She pointed out the stack of hospital gowns, gave me a little basket for my top clothing, and explained what to do pains-taking detail even though the instructions were plainly visible on the wall. She asked me my name.
Her face lit up when I said ‘Monica’. “Oh, that’s an English name! I knew two Monicas!”
‘Yes’ I nodded, and backed into my cubicle.
When I was in the little waiting room she came in, sat down and proceeded to tell me how she met Monica who may have been her cousin. It started with a list of her cousin’s maiden names and ambled on in a perfectly undisturbed stream of consciousness.
Luckily the lady who just had her mammogram done came back. “Oh, I’m not doing my job!” she said and got up to talk to the other lady.
I can’t remember what she said but I remember the glassy stare of the lady standing in her hospital gown wishing the nice old lady would stop talking so she could get dressed and go.
She was still talking when the technician came in and said, “Monica?”
She wasn’t there when it was done so I changed quietly and made a quick getaway.