I think, if I were to count up everything I’ve said in all of my life, the spelling out of my name would be second only to ‘hello’.
But there is a positive side to having an unusual name.
When I was a kid, I never had to give any indication of a second name, or even an initial, because there was no other Petrina in my year.
Every time I’ve left a place of work that required a name badge, I had the pretty certain feeling that they’d never have to use that badge again, and so it would sit in a drawer, from one year to the next, as a reminder of what might have been.
And I don’t need to bother with a pen name because people take my name as being made-up anyway.
It’s not as if I’ve never known of another Petrina. There was a girl a year or two above me in primary school who had my first name. My second year French teacher was a Petrina. I know lots of people who’ve met one before. We’re just relatively rare.
As much as there are positives to having an uncommon name, it is among my greatest ambitions: to get to a point where I don’t have to spell my name.
You might think I’m joking. I have hardly ever been so serious.