Only ten, I hear you cry. And no, despite what my kids say I am not TOTALLY obsessed with this party. However I have written a little list and although I hardly ever, in fact never, put my work up here, I'm going to make an exception this time. (Btw, Sarah C - are you going?)
Ten things about being Sarah
1. Once at the start of a writing group we were asked to tell a story about our names. I told everyone that Sarah meant Princess. ‘That’s so appropriate,’ they all said straight away. I secretly think of myself as modest and humble so I was a little shocked, but when I’ve told other Sarahs this story, they’ve received the same reaction. It seems we can’t always hide the princessy bit.
2. My uncle made a speech at my wedding. ‘Sarah,’ he said, ‘is harass backwards, and she has certainly always been very good at that.’
3. For a while I called myself Sarah-Jane to seem more interesting. Once when I was being chatted up by a stranger on a train, I told him this. I didn’t think of it as something funny but he started laughing so much that he slapped his thigh too hard and got worried he might have given himself a bruise. Luckily, I was able to get off at the next station.
4. Sarah, Sarha, Sahra… how hard is it to spell? Once, after three attempts over the telephone, the man on the other end told me crossly that it would be easier if I’d been called ‘banana.’
5. Ever since that wedding speech, I can’t stop thinking about ‘hairy ass’. Princess, I whisper to myself at these times. Princess, princess.
6. When my children were little, I told them that Bob Dylan had written his song, Sarah, just for me. After that, my daughter kept asking for me to play it in the car. I didn’t feel guilty until she told me that one day she wanted to find someone who would love her as much as Bob must have loved me.
7. French people find it hard to say Sarah. ‘Zhere are..’ they keep telling me and I am still waiting to hear what they are going to say next when I realise they are not just halfway through a sentence but are saying my name. For this reason, Sarahs can often appear suspicious in France. It is as if we can’t always remember what we are calling ourselves today.
8. People are often disappointed when they meet me. They tell me they expect Sarahs to be small, bubbly and blonde, but most Sarahs I have met are dark like me. Dark, brooding and a teeny bit princessy.
9. Sarahs don’t always respond to their name in crowds. There are too many of us. We tend to look a bit wary when someone shouts ‘Sarah’ as if we will be caught out pretending to be popular if we respond. A Mercedes or a Camilla, on the other hand, feels free to yahoo wildly back at even the whiff of a ‘Merc…’ or a ‘Cam..’.
10. Once when I went into a school to teach creative writing, I spent too long with a small Sarah. She had called the heroine in her story Sarah. ‘Is it about you?’ I asked. ‘No,’ she said, frowning at me very fiercely. ‘What on earth makes you think that?’ I told her I didn’t know. ‘It’s because it’s the nicest name,’ she whispered to me then, and she put her hand in mine under the table to let me know that this was our little secret.