Shakespeare once asked what was in a name.
A rose by any other name and all that.
The line comes from Juliet while she’s trying to find an excuse in her teenage mind to go after a boy she knows will put her in a dangerous position.
The name, though, is important.
What we call each other relies heavily on the past we share with that person.
Mister Reynolds, Charlie, Charles all have different connotations – and that’s before we even start talking about consent.
In the case of our young Juliet, the name had connotations of danger and arrogance that she tried to be blind to – but that found her anyway.
So, what happens when someone tries to misuse your name and the power behind it?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Complex_Eagle5873 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for ignoring my soon to be stepmom when she kept calling me by the wrong name”
A quick introduction.
“So my (f16) name is Andi just Andi.”
“My mom’s dad passed away just a few days before she found out she was pregnant.”
“My mom was very close with her Dad and his name was Andrew (also went by Andy).”
“The technical female Version of Andrew is Andrea but neither my mom nor dad liked the name but my mom wanted to honor her dad in some way so I got named Andi.”
“Which I love my name I think it fits me.”
“My parents got divorced when I was 8 and I live with my mom most of the time but visit my dad every other weekend (as well as holidays).”
“3 years ago my dad started dating his now fiance ‘Kate’. Kate for some reason when we met assumed my name was Andrea.”
“I explained to her it was just Andi. She kept calling me Andrea though.”
“I ended up telling my mom about it and she told me just to ignore Kate until she calls me Andi.”
We come to the issue at hand.
“Well, this past weekend I was at my dad’s and we were visiting some of Kate’s family.”
“Well, she kept calling over for Andrea and of course, I ignored her.”
“She got mad and said why am I ignoring her and I said because that’s not my name and you know this.”
“Her dad and brother basically laughed saying they thought I just went by Andi as a nickname and I said no it’s just Andi.”
“They then asked Kate why has she been calling me Andrea then.”
“Well, Kate later got made calling me a brat for embarrassing her.”
“She went on to say I knew who she was talking about and that I should have just gone with it but I was being an AH.”
“I honestly kind of feel like in that instance I should have just answered to Andrea but I don’t know.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment,.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
“NTA. Also why is your dad not correcting her?” ~ bearamongus19
“This. Dad should’ve.”
“I will not suggest you never ever speak to them again.”
“Maybe have a sense of humor about it.”
“Now she knows. See where it goes from there.”
“You are young. Don’t be a door mat but don’t push your Dad away because if this.”
“Next time you see her tell her name is Beatrice today.” ~ yrtx61
“If your dad was a present and supportive parent she would have made sure to call you by your correct name and made sure to have a cordial relationship with you.”
“Because he would have made sure that she new that you come first and to respect you as his child and as a person.”
“She knows she can treat you however and he will let it pass or have her back and not yours.”
“Let your dad know where you stand as far as his fiancé goes and what mistreatment will mean for your relationship going forward.”
“Setting the proper foundation and boundaries for the blended family relationship is important for your mental and emotional well-being now and in the future.” ~ One-Possibility1178
“Kate is probably going to demand that OP calls her “mom” or some other equivalent instead of her given name…”
“Let’s keep it real though -“
“Kate knows exactly what she is doing to OP (and to her Dad).”
“I’m sure that OP’s Dad had already explain to Kate the meaning & reasoning behind Andi’s name (and why she is Andi versus Andrea),”
“And Kate is calling OP by a name that both she & her parents despises; even Kate’s own family has called her out on it.”
“This is a power play by Kate to not only disrespect both OP and her Dad’s wishes, but to also alienate OP from her Dad -“
“Afterall, she can manipulate 16yo OP to choose not to visit her Dad now.” ~ KeyGate1104
“My mom could, not the life of her, spell my wife’s name right.”
“It was always something close but not quite right. When i asked her to be more careful and please spell it correctly she went NUCLEAR.”
‘”Well, she seem’s to have a lot of problems with me” “I’m old and i make mistakes and you should just give me grace”‘
“This small thing ended up being diagnostic of something larger, things got worse, and we are now no-contact.”
“My mom’s a narcissist and offering any criticism of her behavior or actions, no matter how small a thing or reasonable a request, completely undermines her sense of self and forces her to just go on the defensive, fast and hard.” ~ MedChemist464
“Oh, she knew it, alright!”
“Misnaming is a popular passive agreesive hostile act.” ~ null640
This is about respect.
“Well she was named after her mom’s dad so maybe he is being an AH to show mom up too at the expense of his daughter’s feelings and respect.”
“Couple of AHs in this story, not one of them being OP. “~ gravyboat125
“NTA but Kati sure is.”
“Two can play that game.”
“She’s an adult and should know better to treat you with respect.” ~ plainfully_oblivious
“I’ll even go out on a limb and guess that ‘Kate’ is actually a nickname for your dad’s fiancée and not her legal name.”
“If this is true, then the irony of the situation has Kate going to 11 on the AH scale.”
“She prefers to be called by a nickname, but for you, for some AH passive aggressive, dumba$$ reason, she insists on calling you by what she thinks is your legal name.”
“(And she’s wrong about that).”
“So, for hypocrisy’s sake, she wants to be called a nickname, meaning she wants people to respect the right to someone to pick their own name, but for some reason, has decided that you don’t have that right?”
“And then Kate (or maybe I should call her Katherine?) gets mad because you didn’t engage in her stupidity?”
“Maintain your policy of not answering to someone else’s name. If ‘Kate’ has a problem, start calling her by her legal name until she pulls her head out to look for a clue.” ~ sh1tsawantsays
“Names are important in social and professional settings.”
“Showing you took the time to remember someone’s name by using it shows that you have some degree of respect for the person.”
“Failing to use your proper name shows that she’s doesn’t respect you, either intentionally or unintentionally.”
“Lack of the ability to remember names of significant people in your life could be a sign of mental illness.” ~ SortByNew_4_lyfe
OP is the A**hole?
“She’s absolutely wrong for not using your preferred name but your approach seems callous to me.”
“Obviously, I could be mistaken but this seems like a situation that could have been easily rectified by having a conversation with your dad and/or future step-mom in private before resorting to publicly ignoring her existence and yes, embarrassing her.”
“I get the feeling you and your mom have some complex emotions about the presence of your future step-mom.”
“It’s human nature to feel annoyed by any perceived slight by your ex’s next but I feel your mom’s advice reflected her desire for this woman to be hurt and to exact some sort of revenge.”
“Instead of your best interest which would be to build a healthy relationship with your dad’s new partner who it seems is going to be a permanent fixture in his life and yours.”
“I hope that now that you’ve gotten your point across, you can look for some common ground because I assure you this is difficult territory for everyone involved including her. ~ slj0425
“But it’s not your fault so much because you’re a kid”
“Kate doesn’t appear to understand why your name is a big deal to you and the only way she would understand is if you explained it” ~ maiden_burma
Whether we’ve given the name to ourselves or it’s been gifted by someone else doesn’t matter as it’s the power of the name that is important here.
Names are powerful tools.
Wield them with respect, or not at all.