After reading this funny article, I got to thinking about my many Starbucks names...and really my name in general here in Mexico. See, in Spanish and in Mexican culture, my name makes no sense. Reading my name phonetically, Mexicans call me something like "Ah-ooh-tomb-n"with a puzzled look, if they even make the attempt at all. My staff just call me "la jefa" (the boss), and leave it at that. When I try to explain the meaning of my name, they get even more confused. In Spanish-speaking cultures, people are only named names. Maria, Juana, Jose, Jorge...they're all names with no additional meaning. As a Spanish teacher once told Eric, "Autumn is her name? No, that is illegal in Spain."
In the States, Autumn is unique but not entirely uncommon. There was another Autumn in my graduating class...I worked for an Autumn once ("Hi, I'd like to introduce you to Autumn and her assistant Autumn"). It's no Mary, but it's certainly no Moonbeam either.
In Mexico, people do not name their children Otoño (Spanish for Autumn). So, this brings me back to my many Starbucks names. I've thought about naming myself Maria for Starbucks purposes, but something tells me I wouldn't be able to pull it off. It would imply a much higher level of Spanish and cultural understanding than I actually have. I like it that Mexicans speak to me slowly and loudly...I really can understand the Spanish better that way. So, this leaves me with 2 options when the barista asks for my name: Autumn or Otoño. No matter which one I use, I get the same scared, horrified look, and it is never right on the cup. That's right Señorita, I am a foreigner. Can I please have my mocha now?
I used Otoño this day. Look for more Starbucks names coming soon...