Nicknames are a funny thing.
Bittermac is a nick name.
The bitter part is from my mother’s nickname for my bad attitude.
The mac part is a shortened form of my last name.
Bittermac is an odd mix, but it is unique.
I once moved into a new city and had to start phone service.
The operator gave me the new number and told me that it would be listed under my full name.
I asked if it could be unlisted.
She said sure, for an additional hideous sum per month.
In the end, I had them list it under my “Supposed” middle name.
Its a family name, passed down from a French grandfather.
Its pronounced Beetay.
And spelled Bitter.
So, for 3 years, I had a phone listed for Bitter McKinley.
I always liked that number too.
Some nicknames you have a little bit of a say in.
And some you have no control over.
For instance, when you go to the Burning Man Festival everyone gets a nickname.
Mine is the Reverend Chew Toy.
Its a long story, and but I realize that it could have been worse.
Nicknames can also be vicious and cruel.
And the bad one usually come from out of control circumstances that sometimes involve alcohol.
For instance, (And you knew this was coming.) there was a young lady that aquired the rather ominous nickname of “Party Favor” after a long weekend of partying and shenanigans.
Running into her and her huge cop husband at the 10 year reunion was really uncomfortable, and I wasn’t even involved.
I knew a guy in the Army whose nickname was Whistler, because he once got hit in the mouth with a bat, lost a tooth, and whistled when he talked for a week until he got it fixed.
Nicknames are a lot like reputation.
Sometimes its all people know about you, even if they don’t know you.
It can also lead people to automatically assume things incorrectly.
Unlike honor, which has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with you.
Reputation is what other people think they know about you, honor is what you know about yourself.
Most people don’t make the connection to honor until they get older.
But, with a war on, there are a lot of examples of men in their early twenties that get it.
More power to them, I know I didn’t understand it at that age.
Sometimes life takes longer to grow into.
Like a pair of shoes that are a few sizes too big.
However, you can make an ass out of yourself during that period that it doesn’t fit well.
It really takes a fine eye to tell the difference between being an asshole and being open to enjoying life.
Mainly because there are times that the two are the same.
And times they are not.
But when you get to the end of your life, there should not be a lot of regrets.
You should have some scandalous memories, along with the finer ones.
There should have been a lot of memories of laughing so hard you shoot liquid out of your nose.
You should have known love, and loss, good times and bad.
Sounds like a marriage, doesn’t it?
And maybe thats the level of commitment it takes to truly live life.
Till death do we part.