kansas revisited: two-b or not two-b.

Sandra is not a common name for people of my age. I've never been crazy about the name, but at least I didn't have fifteen other Sandras everywhere like some unfortunate Jessicas and Ashleys I know. Most of the Sandras that I know are people's mothers. Actually, I think there were at least three volleyball mothers named Sandra when I played in high school.

However, it seemed to be a name that my mother's family likes quite a lot. I am named after my mother, so that's two, plus I have a cousin named Sandra as well. (As a confusing item of interest, the other Sandra's mother's name is Rita, and my mother Sandra has a daughter named Rita.) So at the recent family reunion in Great Bend, Kansas, there were no less than three Sandras in attendance. This led to a joke that if you couldn't remember someone's name, just call them Sandra and your chances of being right were good.

I've met my cousin Sandra twice, including the recent reunion. The first time was when I was twelve and she came to visit my family (meaning my siblings and their families) in North Carolina. There is a picture of her, my sister, and me doing the can-can. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time. Sandra is a lot of fun in an offbeat kind of way, the offbeat kind of way that most of my mother's family is. And she is ridiculously tall. She is about 6'2", and I don't like standing next to her. At 5'10", I am used to being the tallest girl around, and being near taller women makes me stand up straight and be a little sulky. The competitive thing again.

I mentioned to my friend Ashley that I had a cousin named Sandra who was "like six feet tall and kinda weird." Ashley looked at me and said, "I think you just described yourself."

Sandra has two doe-eyed children. The report was that when the first was born, Sandra claimed that she had just given birth to the cutest child in the world. And they are both decidedly adorable. The girl was especially cute as she dog-paddled across the pool, a big grin on her face, her eyes even wider than usual, her breath gasping, and her floaties flying. However, my children will be much cuter, no problem.

Our visit was short, but I got to have a feel for what people with common names go through. At the reunion, we had a naming system to cut down on the confusion. Not that there was any actual confusion, we just thought it would be fun. The system was generational, so Mama was "Sandra One." Both Sandra and I are second generation, so she was "Sandra Two-A" and I was "Sandra Two-B," because she was born first. My name, of course, led to a lot of Hamlet jokes which were even funny the second time around.

We took a lot of pictures at the reunion. Ones of the whole family, some of individual families, some of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. So many pictures and no one ever had any idea of which camera to look at. And then there was one of the three Sandras. Sandra One, Sandra Two-A, and Sandra Two-B.

No comments: