I went back to the old alma mater for a retirement dinner for a much-loved professor. I was concerned (as always) about who I would know who was there. Turns out, they were a little concerned about me.
"Who is Jenny Sherrill?" the professor had asked the head of the p.r. department who was putting on the event. "I can't remember a Jenny Sherrill at all." They wracked their brains, but to no avail. They couldn't for the lives of them (either of them) come up with who this Jenny Sherrill might be. They called the Alumni office. There, they learned the truth. This unknown "Jenny" was, in truth, JR. THAT name, they could handle.
It happens most every time I'm with my college cronies or other college friends, chums, pals, or gang. Someone calls me JR -- my college name -- and then apologizes. "I forgot; you're Jenny now, aren't you?"
Well, yes, most people call me Jenny now, but I refuse to leave JR behind. JR was good times. It was more than a nickname -- no one in college thought of me as Jenny unless they'd been dating me for a while (or unless their friend Tim had been dating me for a while and had been calling me Jenny, which then created some weirdness, when OTHER people besides Tim called me Jenny in those days...) -- it was who I was. It was only because there was another Jenny Vinson on campus that I took the nickname to begin with, and she'd been there a year already when I arrived, so it wasn't fair to try to change HER name. JR had some fun times: trips to Cedar Campus and other InterVarsity events, good times on campus, sorority events, friends, even classes that had some interesting and fun in them.
Yes, there was the time that, as I was going through Shirk Hall (home of the journalism school), I was asked by an editor of a campus publication (I don't remember which), "JR, do you have periods?" A rather appalling question, you have to admit, and a little more personal than I wanted shouted across the building to me. Actually, they wanted to know if it was "J.R." or "JR" or "Jr." or some other such arrangement. ("It's whatever you want to make it, but the J and the R both stand for things.")
Of course there's the question of what the R stands for. The standard answer was "Ravioli." There was a story behind that, but this is a family show... Ha ha ha. Imagine the surprise of one sorority sister a year later when she found out Ravioli wasn't really my name. Surprise, and a little offense, too, I have to admit, that I'd lied to her. (I didn't think she'd believe me... or that anyone else named Brent Etzel would believe me either, which he did as well.)
But JR was a nice nickname to have. It gave me a little something different, rather than being one of a gazillion Jennys running through college those years, though I did hear about "Who Shot J.R.?" a few thousand times too many. (Yes, you were original when you said it, I'm sure...) And then there were the questions (or comments) along those lines -- "What does the R stand for?" (we've covered that) "Is it Junior?" (not to you...) "Do you pronounce it 'JUR'?" (only in your case)...
It was a nice name to have. It was a nice person to be. And when someone from then calls me JR, I do still answer to it. And I sign things JUR from time to time.