Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Just Jenny - back by popular demand

Well, back by my demand… popular or not!

Sorry, my lovelies… I’m knee deep in paperwork - busy sticking it to the rezoning department and the city planners… can’t be everywhere so I’m hauling out one of my personal favourites.

This was my entry for “J” back in 2011 so it will be new to many of you, and I know those of you that read it the first time will be tickled to see it here again. (no vanity… just sanity… )


In the dark ages it was the wish of every father-to-be that at least one of his children be a male to carry on the family name along with the family business.

Not much has changed - a man still wants a son. (even if he won’t admit it publicly because the missus would tear a strip off him) Some things never change.

I’m the second of four kids - girl, girl, boy, boy.

Okay, the first child can be a girl - after all every dad secretly wants a little princess too.

But...all bets are off when it comes to kid number two - if number one was a girl, number two better be a boy or else.

Here’s the or else.

So, I’m the second girl… my poor mom was under tremendous pressure to produce the heir apparent - but apparently failed at such a simple task - what was she thinking. (even though it’s the sperm that determines gender)

Now, as mom tells it she really had her heart set on a boy, she’d done her duty the first time without success and really, really wanted a boy. 

Mostly she was not a big fan of the ‘state of pregnancy’ - can we blame her!

Yes, there are some women that love being 'with child' - I say, “Good on you, whatever floats your boat.” Apparently in mother’s case it sunk her ship - four times.

When I was brought to my mother (after being tidied up and made presentable) the nurse congratulated her on her sweet, adorable, lovely, cute-as-a-button little girl.

“No, No, I vant a boy, take it back!”

I kid you not - those were her words - and we wonder why I’m in therapy! 

Well, after some arguing about the fact that I couldn’t be swapped and given to someone else who might have wanted a “girl” baby, I was taken back to the nursery to prepare for my fate.

In the meantime, my mom received a visitor - the woman who would subsequently become my godmother - TW. 

TW was so excited mom had another beautiful little girl, she had been by the nursery and was cooing all over the place about how lucky my mom was. 

“Ya, dann take her, she’s yours. I vant a boy - no more girls.” (said like she’d just had her nineteenth girl)

After some explaining, by TW, my mom finally acquiesced - even though she knew it meant going through yet another birth to get that elusive but highly sought after boy - I was adorable and she had already fallen for my "cute-as-a-button" charm.

But that didn’t stop her from still being ticked at me for being a girl. 

She told TW she had already picked a boy's name (for her son) and therefore I would be called Peter; it would teach me a lesson for being a girl.

TW went on to explain that Peter was not a suitable girl’s name whereby my mother leaned back in her bed and said, “Fine, dann ve call her Petra!” 

I can only say there is a god - and it was manifesting itself through TW - because she said, “Absolutely no, dats not a goot name.”

“Ya, dann you pick da name vat ve give my boy,” retorts my mom. (note how she still called me her boy - and we wonder why I’m good with a hammer)


Without hesitation TW says, “I alvays liked Chainy und ve name her Chainy.” (this was how they said Jenny - I kid you not, there is no way I could make this up)

Fast forward to Kindergarten…

Mrs. S, an elderly teacher, (they all look old when you’re that little) called in my parents for a little chat. It appears I was not responding well to my name Jenny and she was concerned about some learning difficulties because of it.

“Ya, dats her name Chainy, vats da problem,” says mommy dearest! 

With that the meeting was over. Mrs. S had her answer - it was not adorable little “me” that had the learning problem…

I’ve always liked my name, never wanted a different one and can safely say I am eternally grateful to my godmother for it.

It’s a good name. It’s not Jennifer or Jen - it’s just Jenny! (try to remember that, will you)


So… now you know a wee bit more about moi. Fascinating, huh! 

What about your name... is there a story behind it too?

Cheers, Jenny


  1. This was a fun post and I don't recall reading it during the 2011 A-Z, although I did join in that year as well. I enjoyed reading the origin of your name. What nationality are your mother and TW? My mom made everyone promise not to call me Jenny when I was born. Only Jennifer or Jenn. I still don't know exactly why she made that distinction. *chuckle* I guess everyone has their preferences.

    1. Hi Jenn - I figured I'd risk bringing it back because it was sooooo long ago! I can hardly remember last week let alone 2011, so I was counting on my readership being in the same boat!

      My parents are Austrians - I was their first child born in Canada - mom still as a pretty good accent - but seriously I though my name was Chainy (at least that sound).

      I have a funny story about being called Jennifer once - I think I'll work it into a post... I totally get your mom's request.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. or JennZie :)
    My own real name (Miroslav) means "the one who bears the name of peace"

    1. Correct - but only you get to use that handle. :) :)

      What a great meaning for a name.

  3. This was new to me and I adore it!

    I don't know if you're perhaps German or Swedish?? But, for me, I read this with a German accent because of the 'und'. When I lived there I saw and said it quite a bit. After that, all bets were off, the piece took on a whole new meaning for me. I have a wonderful German friend with a thick German accent who now lives in the States. When she gets excited, her accent is so heavy, it sounds just like you wrote. So, even if you tell me this is French, I don't care. For me, it's German =PPPP

    I thoroughly enjoyed this!!!



    1. I'm from Austrian lineage, but since I visit Germany more often I'm bi (hahahaha) - I tried to inflect the true sounds I hear - the "und" is still prevalent in mom's speech - also "dis" (this) and "dat" (that) - I mimic her beautifully - which scares the sh*t out of me! yikes!!

      Where did you live in Germany? I love the Stuttgart area (mostly the wine regions...glug, glug, glug - sound of me chugging) :)

      One of my dear friends lives in Hamburg - I hope to visit him in the next year - mostly to check out Berlin, which is the one city I seem to miss when I pop over there.

    2. speaking of the Germans and Austrians, Jennie, have you heard of Falco's song JEANNY? You must, if you haven't :)

  4. I never read this before, and loved it, Jenny! (didn't participate in A to Z until 2012). My mother loved the young queen in England, so gave me that as a middle name. I can't believe what some parents do. . .I'm glad that godmother of yours was there.

    I was first born daughter, and my dad had wanted a son first. In our family it was daughter, son, daughter. I wasn't the princess, my young sister was. My brother was Dad's buddy, but my Mom and I were as close as you could be. She's been my inspiration with my daughters. Dad and I never got along.

    C'est la vie!

    1. Hi DG - thanks for reading, and loving it! :) My sister's name is Elizabeth - my mom liked the queen too and since Liz is the first and was daddy's little princess, the name fits.

      Like you, mom and I are close; dad not so much (I hardly see him) Mom and I have lots in common too, which helps. I am, however, a lot like my dad in many ways when it comes to my independent spirit and headstrong attitude. Ahh... the joys of the gene pool. :)

  5. This is amazing Jenny, never knew the story behind this before. For some reason I've never thought of calling you Jennifer or anything like that anyway, I think that I just affectionately associate your name with Just Jenny like you say :) Or auntie Jenny as I hear you're nicknamed at times ;)

    1. Hi Matt - my favourite these days is the "auntie Jenny" I find in little notes I get - it lights up my face like a kid in a candy store.

      Seldom does anyone call me Jennifer - when they do I smile and tell them "there is no fur on this Jenny" it gets a laugh every time.

      When I played field hockey (for a women's league, not long ago) I made that reference when I found my name on the roster as Jennifer - after that I was nicknamed "No-Fur" - too funny; when I was running down the field and you'd here a teammate calling out that name it had the opposition wondering what was up! Those were fun times.

    2. No fur on this Jenny just made me laugh so much haha, it's a joke I don't think I'd ever heard about a Jenny before!

    3. I like knowing I make you laugh, Matt - laughter is so good for us! :)

  6. Enjoyed it then, enjoyed it now!

    1. Gosh, Claudia - thank you for enjoying it again - that puts a smile on my face. :) :)

  7. Ha ha ha! I used to have a very strong Scottish accent, but was horrified when I was studying English Lit in Amsterdam and my American tutor told me that my presentation was "Fascinating! Truly fascinating! Of course I didn't understand a word of it because your vowels were all wrong!" :-/

    1. Accents are such fun! I find listening to them quite enjoyable - even if I can't make out everything being said I will try to piece together something from the words - failing that, I nod and smile!

      Awww... that must have been tough - did you pass the course? I'm assuming so! :) :)

  8. I like it. I can hear the voice from the lady on the sitcom Two Broke Girls. If my name was after what my parents called me it would probably be "Who?"
    HIjacked a computer for the weekend!

    1. Hi "Who" (giggle) I wonder who "Who" is!!

      Good to see you up and at it! Does this mean, what I think it means... you're back!!
      Hijacking a computer is good... very good! Do we thank your lovely wife for the loaner!! :) :)

      Thanks for stopping in!

  9. Well, Chainy, you're adorable as is your story!
    Carole is my mom's cousin's name. Unfortunately she liked her cousin and named me after her.
    I always wished she'd liked one of her other cousins.....well maybe not Betsy or Ina.
    Happy weekend to you. xo Carole

    1. Thanks Carole.

      But Carole suits you - when we met I though, "yup, she's a Carole, and a Carole with an "e" for sure". So your mom did good! I'm not sure I could see you as a Betsy - Liz maybe, but not Betsy; as for Ina - no! :) :) :)

      I hope you have a happy weekend too, Carole - I imagine you'll be out in the garden... I think the weather's supposed to be dry and mild. Hugs, Jenny

  10. If there was a story behind my name, I am pretty sure it isn't as good as yours! :)

    1. I've definitely gotten mileage out of this story, that's for sure. :)
      Every name does have a bit of background - have you asked your folks about yours?

  11. Al Penwasser.
    From "Alpen Wasser." German (I guess) for "Alpine Water."
    As for my REAL name? Named after my father. I'm neither fond of the name or my father.

    1. I always wondered about the story behind your blog handle... though you did shed light some time ago - fog crept in and I'd forgotten until I see it here.

      You're just as pure as the water from a mountain stream... or not, there could be a dead carcass (or our gardening friend's computer) up stream and that's always bad news for a city slicker who's to thirsty to check the source of that babbling brook.

  12. Love love love your story, Jenny! My dad always tell me I was named after an old girl friend. I'm pretty sure (but not entirely!) he's kidding. :)

    1. Thanks Linda - that's funny about your name - does your mom know?!! I bet it's true - the name Peter, that my mom wanted to use for me, was the name of a man that wanted to marry her, but my dad beat him to the punch! So... anything possible. :) :)

      Also, I've been thinking about you and your "blogger issues" - wondering how you're managing? I hope things are settling down in the spam department.

  13. Hi Jenny .. love the story and if I'd heard it - I missed it! I can quite believe it .. Chainy .. to this day that's what you'll be!!

    I do love the name Jenny though .. so pleased it's not Petra!!!

    And yes I'm Hilary for a variety of reasons .. too many to mention .. hope the world is coming to rights ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks for checking out this post, Hilary - I still answer to Chainy as my mother still calls me that! Funny how these things shape us and our outlooks - for me, it made me laugh, which is a good thing!

      And, yes... Petra was not an option!

      I like your name and if there's a story to tell about it you should do a post, maybe after the A-Z; I'd love to read about it. :) :)


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