And really, the person with the unusual name should not have to be the one to explain it, spell it, laugh at the multiplicity of mispronunciations, and basically apologize to the world for being difficult.
You know who should have to?
These guys. The two young lovers who were so high on edelweiss and lederhosen that they thought giving their firstborn a German name would just be the epitome of wit and wunderbar.
I mean, please. The language responsible for Gesundheit, Volkswagen, and Oktoberfest should probably not be the one to shop around when choosing a name for your American baby girl.
Especially if you are planning to send her to public school.
But now that I've stuck with it for the past almost-38 years, my unusual name is part of who I am...just like my stubby fingers and my short bow legs. I don't always like it, but it's one of the unusual and exotic spices that make up my original recipe.
So here's the 411:
Gab--rhymes with slob, snob or get-a-job.
Diminiutive of Gabi--rhymes with blobby--which is what most everyone calls me.
My full name is Gabriele--which looks really beautiful on a wedding invitation, but which is frequently massacred by telemarketers, teachers and the people that announce your name at college graduation.
Don't worry. If we ever meet and you get it wrong, I probably won't even notice. Believe me. I'm used to it.
Any further questions should be directed to my mom's blog. Although she still doesn't really understand what I'm whining about.
After all, she changed to a German name the first chance she got.
Just call her Oma.