1982, a newsletter by Shani Silver, does not publish free content. If you’d like to read this newsletter and all weekly newsletters that have already been published, you can join at the $5 per month tier. xo
In 1982, when my mother was pregnant, her obstetrician gave her a book of baby names ranked by their popularity during the published year. She read each name she liked aloud to my father, they agreed on zero of them, and then she arrived at the last name in the book, “Shani” (rhymes with uncanny) mispronounced it as “Shani” (rhymes with rainy) my father loved it and here I am. An accidental agreement. Run with that metaphor as long as you like.
The fun didn’t stop with my first name, and my god why would it? My legal last name isn’t Silver. It’s Kaesler. And in your head if you read it as Keezler, Keizler, Kessler, or some other garbage disposal product of letters, I wouldn’t be surprised—literally everyone agrees with you. That name is pronounced “case-lur.” Betcha didn’t see that coming. You know what else no one saw coming? A baby girl facing a lifetime of no one knowing how to say her fucking name. It’s her name. It’s her first thing. And it’s embarrassing her, every day. But she’s never allowed to get upset, because that’s the name her parents chose. You can’t insult your own parents by hating your name, that would make you a bad ungrateful horrible child, Shani. Or is it Shanny? Sha-NEE? How do you say it?