Hello Everybody, and Welcome to Judy's House,
"Judy, Judy, Judy!" In my family this WAS NOT someone doing a "Cary Grant" impression. Instead, it was my grandfather calling my grandmother, mother and myself into the dining room for Sunday dinner throughout my childhood. Uh, how I dreaded Sunday dinners, and any other family occasion where all three Judys were present. The countless games of "freeze tag" I would desert, the numerous cricks in my neck I would gain by constantly jerking my head around, only to realize that they didn't want me at all. They were calling another Judy.
Then, on my sixteenth birthday, I could take it no longer. When grandpa asked, "Judy, how bout some more birthday cake?" the "Yes" came back in stereo! I jumped up from the table in tears. "It's MY birthday! And I'm supposed to be treated special. Well, there's nothin' special about me in this house! When I was born, you didn't even bother to think up a better name than DUMB OLD JUDY!" I fled to my room, weeping hysterically.
A few minutes later, grandma came in and sat on the edge of my bed. "Judy," she said, "You are old enough to hear a story. It's a story about me, when I was just a bit older than you are today. You know that I was an orphan, don't you? But what you don't know is that my name as a young girl was Marlene. One day I ran away from the orphanage and joined the circus. I didn't really have any "circus skills" to speak of, but I didn't let that stop me. Finally they took me on as a "circus clown." They said that "Marlene" was a bad name for a clown, so they changed my name to "Judy". Then, one day, there was a tragic accident. I was throwing a cream pie at another clown when he ducked. The pie tin hit the Ring Master just right in his left eye, impairing his vision for the rest of his life. Because he now had bad depth perception, they let both him and me go from our circus jobs. We found ourselves in a strange town, knowing only each other. Then, we realized that it's not what happens to someone, it's what that person chooses to do with it that matters. We were married within a month, and the rest is history."
"I'm telling you this story, because even though I didn't have any family history to pass on, the one thing I did have was my name. If I didn't become "Judy the clown", I never would have met your grandfather."
I was stunned. "So, that's why I'm named Judy, and grandpa is blind in one eye, and you are such a good juggler?"
"That's right," replied grandma. "Now, come back out and have some cake!"
When my daughter is old enough, I'm going to tell her this story. I think "little Judy" will like it as much as I did.
All the best to all of you,