This is a good place to explain my name. My mother (perhaps longing
for a girl with which to wind up her childbearing career) settled on the name
"Raymond Kimberly" for me. My brother (their eldest child) she named
"Daran Timothy" and my sister is "Laura Lynndale." Of course,
making up weird names is all the rage today, but back in my time it was unheard of.
I hated being "Kim." When I was introduced to new kids, they would
inevitably say, "Kim? That's a girl's name!" Once mom enrolled me in
day camp. We were there on the first day and as they called the roll and assigned
all the boys to different groups, I was dismayed because my name wasn't called.
"Don't worry," mom said as we started up to the front of the room. Then,
they began calling out the girls and "KIM PADEN" was first on the list.
So, the first chance I got (when I was transferred to a new school as a teenager) I
asserted my identity as "Ray." Most of my friends from school knew me as
Ray, everyone from church knew me as Kim. Sometimes, when these two worlds
overlapped, it got very confusing. Then I went to work at my father's company.
There was already a Ray Paden there (him) so I had to go back to Kim again. Then he
retired and I appropriated the name as my own. Now, I often can't remember who I'm
supposed to be when I talk to folks. Please bear that in mind if you ever talk to
me, and cut me a little slack.