My name is Dorinda; fairly unusual. I’ve only met a few others with my name. My middle name is Darline. As a small child I went by the nickname Dee Dee. As I grew up it sounded too childish and I became just Dee. I’m not crazy about Dee — it sounds a bit harsh. I ‘m not crazy about Dorinda either but, at almost 60, I’m using my real name more frequently. I don’t like having two names — I like to keep things simple. I actually use three names since my step grand kids all call me Dee Dee. I like being Dee Dee to them.
My mother got my name from an old movie called “A Guy Named Joe.” It’s a sweet romantic war movie, that starred Irene Dunne and Spencer Tracy, and was made in 1944. She saw it in England during World War II. She liked the name of the Irene Dunne character so much that she wrote it down in a little book that I still have and said if she ever had a daughter, that would be her name. She met my dad, a GI, and came to San Francisco. When I was born she had the name ready for me.
They did a remake of “A Guy Named Joe” a few years ago. It was called “Always” and starred Holly Hunter as Dorinda. It was strange to hear my name called out during the movie.
My mother was never happy about me shortening my name to Dee. She thought Dorinda was a lovely name and that I ought to use the name my parents had given me.
That’s a bit ironic. My mother’s name was Elsie Joan and she always went by her middle name. It wasn’t until after her death that my uncle told me her real name was Elsie Florence. She had simply taken a new middle name years ago and had always gone by that name. It was kind of disturbing to find out that I had never known my own mother’s real name. It made me wonder what other secrets our parents never tell us.