Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Why the Y in Sally Y?

By Sally Y. Hayes

By SALLY Y. HAYES

Mt. Pleasant News

My bylines are not simply a given name followed by a surname. As you may have noticed there is a pesky initial sitting between the bookends of Sally and Hayes.

The standalone letter is not one often seen as the first letter of a name. For one reason or another I am quite fond of my peculiar middle initial. Perhaps it is my heritage or the reminder to be my unique self, maybe it is the fact that it is alright to stand alone when circumstances say so or simply because that Y. makes me, me.

My parents had a tough time naming me 23 years ago. Although, I doubt that they thought the recipient would ever analyze it so closely.

They knew they wanted a name that would not be one of ten in a classroom, like Ashley Marie or Jessica Ann. (No offense to readers with such names.)

In third grade my wonderful teacher was named Sally and often asked herself, “Sally, where did I put that pen?” or other such third person questions. Granting me many looks and giggles from my classmates.

Mom and Dad also knew that they wanted to choose a name that would be pronounced properly and had a classic feel. See, Mom’s name is a bit odd, uncommon to say the least. Her name is Monie, always mispronounced on the first day of school and by telemarketers.

She’s been called everything from Monte to money. It is pronounced “Mah-nee.”

Dad on the other hand grew up with more of a classic, common name, Russell.

So, Russ and Monie, tossed around a few names but decided on Logan Paul if I were to be a boy and Sally Yvette if I were to be a girl.

There was nobody on either side of the family with that name before, as far as we can trace back at least. In fact, I’ve only ever met one other Sally my age.

Yvette is what that initial in my byline stands for. It is a French name, just as my mother has a French middle name. A reminder of the ancestry we have in our family tree.

Mom and Dad did well, if I may say so myself. Sometimes people wonder what name they would give themselves, maybe something more exotic or a family name. I can honestly say I would always choose the name given to me.

Sally Yvette Hayes, or Sally Y. Hayes in print, that’s me. At least until I have a surname change, but that is a bridge I will cross when I come to it.

And to think, my parents endured the name game two years later with my sister, Maya Helen.