Josephine O'Grady

United States

If a particle of your observations tugs at you a certain way, don't forget to write it down.

Message to Readers

And so I finish my response to this prompt from my comfortable position on the couch,
a box of tissues next to me, fighting off this nasty cold I have been unlucky enough to catch!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy.

Softball, Ireland, and Demitasse Cups

March 3, 2016

PROMPT: All in a Name

I'm not usually called by my birth name, except by my mother and a good friend from Westfield. Her name is Taylor. I love the way she pronounces my name; Josephine, like it's something delicate and should be handled on her tongue as such. Before I met her I never gave my real name much thought, but now I consider my name as small and and fancy, like the demitasse cups that hang from little hooks on one of the shelves in my eighty-nine year old neighbor's living room.

When I was born, my mother wanted to call me Joey, after the singer in one of her and my father's favorite bands, Joey Ramone. That never really stuck, so throughout preschool my father called me a number of nicknames that made me feel cute and perky inside. It made me want to wear my hair in pigtails. As I got older, the nicknames faded, although sometimes I was called those nicknames by a close friend of my father's.

To most of my friends, I am Josie. I don't know where it came from, but I liked it because it left my mouth quickly and made me think of my short hair. As I get older and my hair grows longer, I find myself liking the name less and less, especially when people don't pronounce it Jo-SEE and instead pronounce it Jo-ZEE, which sounds as bad as being called Daisy. However, on the softball team I am Jay, and I like it far better. 

My father's mother, who died before I was born, was also a Josephine. Because of this, my Aunt Catherine calls me Jo, which is what Grandmother Josephine was called, and I feel bad that I despise the nickname. It's like I'm insulting her memory or something.

I like my middle name, Suzanne. It reminds me of my first name, so I like it for the same reasons. I was given the name after my mother's mother. She has blond hair, pretty hands, loves foxes, and is a good listener.

Now and again, I ask my father about the origins of the O'Grady family. There is a lot to tell, enough that he could go on all day about it. He once tried to draw me a family tree so I might understand it better, but we didn't have enough paper. What I do understand is that my father's grandmother, my great grandmother, immigrated from Ireland to the United states with her two sons. They lived in New York, but both sons died of diphtheria. One of the sons that died was named Joseph, so after his death, she had three sons, and a daughter, Josephine. 


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  • March 3, 2016 - 10:53am (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • Courtney Anderson

    This is a really good short story about your name and how you have kinda grown from the nicknames that you liked as a young child.

    almost 3 years ago