I’ve had a lot of nicknames in my life. Some will remain locked away in the darker moments of my past, where they belong, but some haven’t been so bad. There’s the obvious “CC” which I’ve always liked. My dad called me “Red.” Because of my red hair, not because I turn red at the slightest provocation. In high school basketball, I made a push for “Sure Shot Callicotte” but it didn’t take. Strangely, there was “CaroCal”, this one from a biology teacher who abbreviated all our names in this way. In grad school, I had a bob haircut and people told me I looked like Scully. Being a huge X-Files fan, I loved it. To this day, there is at least one classmate who never learned my real name. To him, I was Scully. More recently, when I became a Francophile, I also became “Le Carol.”
But a new one has been coined. And I have to say it’s my favorite. About a month ago, my good friend’s two year old patted her hair, pointed at me, and said “Ariel hair.” A few minutes later, she called me “Ariel.” As in the Little Mermaid. As in her favorite cartoon character. It melted my heart. And it seems to be sticking. She calls me “Ariel” (though it sounds like “Yoriel”) when she sees me. The other day, I was looking for my shoes and she found them, held them up, and said, “Ariel Hair shoes.” This nickname comes at a price – she’s always wanting to play with my hair. But still, I don’t think I’ll cut it short again. I’m enjoying being the little mermaid far too much.