Hi, my name is Norris Dion Hudnall, but please, call me Dion.
This is a short and possibly fictional story about me.
For those of you who haven’t done the math, my first name is Norris. My parents were going to name me Ronald Anthony Hudnall after my dad’s two best friends.
When I was born and my mom held me for the first time, the doctor asked what my name would be. She looked at me, looked at my dad, then back at me, then at the doctor.
"Aye fam, let’s name homie after you."
"Deadass?" Dad asked with a grin on his face.
Mom retorted, “But his middle name gon’ be Dion tho.”
“I mean... that rhymes with my middle name, lets run it!” Dad was getting excited now.
“Yeah, I just thought of it,” She replied. My dad was so ecstatic he cried tears of joy.
And that's how I have my name. Upon further reflection, Ronald Anthony wasn’t a fly name, I don't think they would have hyphenated it but it sounds like it should be. But Ronald-Anthony? I wouldn’t have made anybody’s Myspace top friends. I think my mom sensed that and made a necessary audible, I commend her for her efforts.
I imagine I looked like Benjamin Button because Norris is an old man’s name. According to my parents, I told them to start calling me Dion around the age of two. I won't accuse them of dropping me in those first two years, but something happened for me to make that pivot and start using my middle name as a toddler. Maybe I realized that Dion sounded younger than Norris. Maybe I grew tired of being confused since there was always another Norris around. My parents never filled in that blank. I also imagine my pops putting me in that “Baby Boy” headlock. Frustrated that I chose to go by Norris, he might have grunted, he might have cried, you’ll have to ask him for clarity. But thinking about it, they didn't call me junior, because I'm not a junior, so every time somebody called out Norris, it could be either one of us.
At the beginning of each school year, I went through the same routine of correcting my teacher. “No... no… Norris?” I’d raise my hand and ask them to call me Dion. It got to the point where some people would know me for years and never realize that Dion was my middle name. It felt like the ones that did know, kept that knowledge in their back pocket like a blackmail photo. Hype to throw it out like it was the big joker. Even professionally, everyone calls me Dion. Most of my past and present coworkers will only figure it out with this blog.
People often ask me if I dislike the name Norris (they'll also call it my “real” name as if I pulled Dion out of thin air). Truth is, I’ve been going by Dion for so long, I can't imagine being called Norris regularly. At this point, the only person that’s calling me Norris is my wife, and that's usually when I get on her nerves.
So that’s the past and the present about my first name. My parents would likely tell a completely different story about how they agreed on my name. What is the story behind your name? Drop a comment below, on FB or IG.