"Can I get a name?"
The fellow at the front asked.

- "Joseph,"
I said nicely.


He bellowed out with the grace of a tired warthog.

I have old friends who call me "Joe," and that's fine. They've earned it, and some have different historical reasons for doing so. That's fine. But I have never - not once, not ever, ever introduced myself as "Joe." I have had a number of times where I introduced myself to someone as Joseph, and then had them turn around immediately and respond with "Okay Joe." I don't get it. I don't meet somebody named Bartholomew and say "nice to meet you, Fred." Same thing to me. If I introduce myself with the name I want to be called, why do so many people find it reasonable to adjust MY NAME to their preference?

I like the name Joe. Some of the coolest people I know go by that (here's to you, Misters Kim, Bowen, Louis, DiMaggio, etcetera). I've just always self-identified as Joseph, and am appreciative of parents who backed me up in letting me stand my ground with adults who tried swapping out my name when I was a kid. 

Other company I proudly keep:
Arthur, Cornell, Gordon-Levitt, the cool coat guy.

I wish that Mr. and Mrs. Stalin had named their son "Biff" instead. I think 20th century geopolitics would have been quite different. Biff is not a name that a despot or authoritarian can really get away with.

I have a handful of friends who softly replace the 's' with a gentle 'z,' or the 'j' with an 'h' and the second accented syllable pronounced 'way.' I love it. There's actually some great variations, and I love many of them. Feel free to experiment.

5. I am still 'Joey' and 'Josey' to some of my family. I like that.

4b. I am not against nicknames or name-shortening. I just think it's a personal decision that every individual, at the age it becomes important to them, should make for themselves.

4c. When I was younger, I actually fully elongated my name to:
Joseph Ivan Arnold Lee Dutch Carl Long. This was at a time in my life where the film Predator was very important to me, or rather, the ten minutes I had sneakily watched on my little great-grandma's television when she was out crocheting and my parents weren't all up in my business about me being too young to watch R(ad)-rated films. Be glad that I don't make you use all of those when addressing me. 

Peace, peeps. Joseph out.

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