What’s In A Name

Posted by Danny

I stink at remembering names.  I probably know you.  I just don’t know what your name is.

One of the things that I miss the most about Lisa is that she knew everyone – who they were related to, how many kids they had AND their ages, birthdays and especially their names.  We’d walk into a Christmas party or into a Y basketball game and she would follow me mumbling the names of the people we were about to encounter.  It was a gift, one that I wasn’t given.

I assume that every couple has jokes between them.  Jokes that no one else understands.  Lisa and I had many.  These jokes seem to have much less purpose now.  When you speak a language that only two understand and one is gone, the language is useless.  

We had an acquaintance who had a somewhat unusual name.  One of the first times I met her, Lisa walked up after the conversation had begun.  When the woman walked away, Lisa asked her name.  I said, “I can’t remember.  It was something like Stavrulla.” 

“Are you serious?  Stavrulla?”

“Don’t quote me on it, but it’s something like that.”

A few weeks later, Lisa came storming into the house.  “Guess who I saw today?”

“I have no idea.”

“I saw Stavrulla.  But guess what?”


“Her name is Katrina.”

“Oh, that’s a nice name.”

“How in the world did you get Stavrulla from Katrina?”

“I don’t know.  She just looks like a Stavrulla to me.”

“That’s what a Stavrulla looks like?  What if I would have called her that?”

“You’d have been embarrassed.”

“And you would have been dead”, she quipped.

My wife had a way of looking at me.  It was a mix of disgust, wonder and delight all rolled up in one. 

“I am married to a moron.”

From that point forward, the woman’s name has been Stavrulla to me.  We’d see her at the mall – “There goes Stavrulla”, I’d jest.  Lisa would just shake her head.

I recently saw Stavrulla.  I still don’t know her name.  I picked Katrina for this post because it was the first thing that came to my mind.  And now, no one on this earth knows about Stavrulla’s identity but me. 

When I saw her, I smiled and glance up.  I have a vision of Lisa, up in heaven, looking down on me.  I think she spends a great deal of time shaking her head thinking, “I did what I could in the short time I had.”

Leave a comment


  1. Leslie Watts

     /  February 5, 2011

    You amaze me with your wit. So happy it is still there! I hope I am not Stavrulla, and if I am, I have been called worse!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 5, 2011

      I know most of the old Y counselors! But husbands and children???

  2. Jeff

     /  February 5, 2011

    This was so funny! I could see this happening! Made me laugh so hard my oldest daughter came running into the room asking what was so funny. By the way, i am not good at names either. I have to be told all the time who is who.

  3. I refer to those whose names I’ve forgotten as “Oh, yeah”, and my children think I’m losing my mind. Either way, I remember the face, so I’m not losing my mind, thankfully.

  1. You Never Even Call Me By My (First) Name « The Real Full House

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