Wherefore Art Thou Denise


I am a woman of many names.

Nowadays, I often times simply respond to whosoever directs a statement towards me, regardless of the name used. In reality, my given name is Denise Claire.

(I had typed in my name for a group project and the team leader looked at me and scoffed. I’m not trying to be pretentious, my dude. Nah, that’s my given name.)

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Although I am officially Denise Claire, at home my family and friends call me Pebbles. I’ve adapted this into my day-to-day life at City Tech and for the most part, my professors and fellow students haven’t had a problem with it. (Of course there are some who look at me funny. Do they think it’s a gang name or a self-appointed nickname? I’m not sure.)

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My maternal grandmother has taken to turning Pebbles into Pablo—Blo for short. In middle school, I befriended one Emiliano Sanchez, who continues to refer to me as Dennis the Menace Who Plays Tennis in Venice. My best friend from high school refers to me as Denchik. A girl in my advanced painting class in high school called me Brenda. My middle school assistant principal called me Rose. My Confirmation name is Rita. And of course, the wonderfully horrendous Key and Peele skit “Substitute Teacher” that haunts me with “De-NICE! Say your name correctly!”

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My father tells me that he had initially wanted to name me Abigail Xena, if memory serves me correctly. Xena after the hit Xena the Warrior Princess. I’m not sure how that kick-ass name was replaced with Denise Claire, but I think it worked out. I don’t think I seem much like an Abigail….

Which makes me think:

Is there really much to a name? Do you make your name or does your name make you?

Do I look like “a Denise” or does “Denise” look like me?

What does “a Denise” even look like?

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If a cat was actually called “fish,” would it be the same? If a cat were called a “fish,” a wolf a “rabbit”… Would we even realize the difference?

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Is my name a reflection of me or am I a reflection of my name?



Hi, y’all! I tried something new for the art this week. I really prefer traditional methods, but I still have to figure out how to scan it in so it looks at its best! Also, its all a learning process, so I hope you won’t be too hard on me! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all next week!


All artwork by Pebbles.

4 thoughts on “Wherefore Art Thou Denise

  1. I love the new style! Is it watercolor? It’s beautiful and rich. And the topic is a fascinating one. I’ve gone through some fun experiences concerning my name, mostly people playing around with the unique spelling “Robine” (pronouncing it like Row-BINE, Ro-BEAN-ee) or giving me cute nicknames like Robinsky, Robe, and Bibine (bee-bean). That’s so cool how many names you’ve earned 🙂 and I’ve wondered about the whole name-meaning concept as well. I figure it goes both ways. My name means “bright fame” which I am very happy about.

    • I’m tapping my nose and pointing to you right now! It is, in fact, watercolor! I have a bit of ink in there, too! Just gotta figure out how to get the scan to look nice… heehee.

      And yeah! Names are a funny thing. Even names that seem straight forward get some mispronunciations, which is funny to me. I used to look up the meanings of names when I was younger and totally thought of naming my children some weird stuff.

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