"Oh, that's a cute name." This is what people call a compliment. "I'm going to name my daughter McKinley." "I have a niece, she is sooo cute! Her name is McKinley." Not once have I met another man named McKinley, usually people say it's a "cute" name. The best part is that they think they are giving me exciting, breaking news when they talk about all the little girls they know that share my name. Like we suddenly have so much in common. Wow we must be so much alike! The alternatives used by my mother are even "cuter" if you must know. Kimpies and Kimpers are among her favorites. It's unbelievable that you can actually wussify the name McKinley and make it cuter.
This fourth of July I was at a Rodeo in Oakley, UT (pretty far from anything familiar, near unto nowhere). Multiple times I kept looking back thinking the woman sitting behind me was saying my name. There was no way she knew me though because every time I looked back she didn't acknowledge me. Then I noticed a soft, tiny voice behind me. I decided to ask her, "is your name McKinley?" she shyly nodded her head. I gave her a high five and said "me too!" In this instance McKinley definitely was a cute name, this girl was adorable. But should that make me feel better? It's not so bad to have a girl's name after all, maybe it makes me less threatening. However, something inside me doesn't want to like "ohhhh, cute," as a reaction to my introduction. Secretly I love it, just a little. Maybe something like "whoa, nice name bro," or "dude bro, sick name" would be better or more satisfying to hear after introducing myself. Well, it probably would be a common reaction if McKinley weren't such a popular choice for six year old girls. Honestly I can live with "ohhh, cute" every time I meet somebody. It's definitely better than just "oh..."
I must reclaim the name McKinley for men. Sure both genders can share it, but there needs to be a masculine version that I can use in times of great need. Times when somebody needs a Man, not a McKinley.
Below is a documentation of a phone call I received confirming a dentist appointment about a month ago.
"Hello, this is _______ from Dr. Woodbury's office calling to confirm McKinley's appointment tomorrow morning at 9am."
"Yep, sounds good! Thanks for the reminder." I answered
"Would you mind letting her know?" she asked
At this point I didn't want her to feel dumb so I just went along with it.
"Ya I can do that."
Then she set me up and I had no choice but to correct her.
"Actually, is there a better number that I could reach her at?" ... sorry lady you are about to regret that question
"Nope, probably not, because this is him, I'm actually a boy" I responded
"Oh... I'm so sorry! I should have checked" she worriedly looked for a good reason to have been confused. It's just the name, we all know it, it's fine lady.
"It's ok it happens all the time, no worries, I'll be there tomorrow."
That's how it ended. I definitely wasn't offended because by now I am definitely used to it. This is where someone responded "oh..." instead of "oh, cute!" and look how it turned out. I am really glad she made the mistake, in all honesty she probably was much more worried about it than she needed to be. This short phone call gave me something to laugh about. It also serves as evidence that I need to come up with a masculine version of my name.
During Winter Semester of 2010, shortly after returning from my mission, my assigned group for psychology 110 was discussing an assignment. It was still a bit strange to refer to myself as McKinley, I was used to Withers or Elder. During our discussion an error was made. As neurons fired in one of my group-mate's brains and she attempted to say my name something went wrong. It is still unclear whether the error was made as the syllables came off of her tongue or if it was when the sound waves hit my ear drum. Somewhere in those hundredths of a second a great and unique sound was created. My ears perked up as I heard it. "ManKinley." Then and there my problem was solved. That error salvaged the name McKinley and reclaimed it for men. In times of great need, in times of great manliness I shall be called ManKinley. Not CuteKinley, just ManKinley.
There really is no need to change my name, I actually do like it. But when you need a Man, not just a McKinley, be sure and call me by my new official title, ManKinley.
This is not a public journal. There is no theme, agenda, or overall purpose. I need a reason to write and it needs to be well informed. I consider myself an expert in only one subject, my own thoughts. I am reflecting my experiences onto the internet because this seems to make them more beautiful to me, especially when they are idealized and inaccurate. This is not a mirror for me to see myself looking back, nor is it a mirror that reflects a detailed image of myself to others. This page is but a jumble of letters, words, and ideas that will be interpreted differently for each person, including myself. There are no mirrors because these thoughts are directionless, inaccurate, and fuzzy; a vague, splotchy reflection of McKinley.