OutCast


I’ve been scouring WordPress looking for writing inspiration.  Jessica Bakkers had just the inspiration I needed.   She did a post about Outcast Bloggers; those of us that do not have thousands of followers.  I certainly fit into that category.  You can find Jessica’s post and blog here:

https://jessicabakkers.com/2017/04/13/the-outcasts-bloghouse-no-cool-kids-allowed/

When I was a kid, I was very much an Outcast.  I can remember being teased for my hand-me-down clothes.  I never wore anything that was “cool”.  I never bought my lunch.  I carried my lunch to school in a brown paper sack.

I hung out with the other Outcasts.  We were the ones that smoked out behind the school.  We would gather; our heads together, speaking in hushed voices.

We clung to each other, each of us seeking acceptance.  We found that acceptance in the eyes of the other Weirdos, Nerds and Losers.

It was hard to fit in back then.

The kids today, have it even harder than I did.  In today’s world, with the designer labels, social media and the electronics, it’s harder than ever to keep up.  I wouldn’t have stood a chance!

So to all you Outcasts out there, you are always welcome at PennyLaneThoughts!

What’s In A Name?


1937-Wheat-Penny-Front-Back

Here a Penny, there a Penny…..

I was born with the name of Penny Nichols.  Not an easy name to live up to.  When I was in my teens and 20’s, I went by “Six Cents”.

The name Penny (NOT Penelope) was hard enough.  I heard all the usual taunts as a kid.  Henny Penny, Bad Penny.  My brothers bastardized the name Penelope and called me that, making the “o” long and the last “e” silent.  I hated it.  Then there was that stupid cartoon on when I was a kid called “Penelope PitStop”.  Kids called me that sometimes too.

Then there are those that try to be cute.  “A Penny for your thoughts!”  or “Penny’s from heaven!”

I always wanted to be called something pretty; something exotic.  I tried for a long time to get my childhood friends to call me Eva.  But it didn’t stick.

I had enough things to deal with as a kid.  I had a big chip out of one of my front teeth, which caused me to look like I had a huge gap there.  I had (have) crazy curly/frizzy hair that I could never control.  My mom was a single mother for most of my childhood.  So money was hard to come by.  I wore hand me down clothes (with 3 brothers!) or 2nd hand clothes.  They were clean, but never new.

I never got to BUY my lunch, like the cool kids did.  I took my lunch in a brown paper sack.

I found out as an adult how I got the name Penny.  I always thought it was because my fathers’ name was Nichols, I was his “little Penny”.  Apparently I was very small, only about 4 lbs. when I was born.

I got the name Penny because my 2 older brothers thought it would be great fun to have a sister named Penny Nichols.

Thanks guys….

Needless to say, I hated my name growing up.

I did meet one other Penny Nichols when I was a kid.  I was in the 3rd grade.  Her name was really Penelope and her last name was spelled differently.  BUT she was a Penny Nichols!

I occasionally look up the meaning of my name.  Most of the time I can’t find it.  What I usually find is Penelope.  But I am not a Penelope, I am a Penny!

A few of the meanings I have found are “Web over her face”.  What the… ?  Or “bobbin”.   Uh…ok.  Or “a coin”.  Duh!

The name Penelope has meanings like “weaver” and “dream weaver”.   Which makes more sense than bobbin!!

My mother wanted to name me Rose Marie.  There was a popular song at the time by the same name.  But my dear brothers would have none of it!

Now as an adult, I like my name.  It’s different.  You don’t hear it all the time.  My last name has changed, so I am no longer Nichols.  I can’t imagine being called anything other than Penny now.  I have a few friends that have shortened my name to Pen, as a nick name and that’s ok.

I have grown into my name over the years.  It’s who I am.

Now, my last name…. Wait.  That may be too much for you to handle in one sitting.  I think I will leave that for another time.