So, late this morning we were sitting together eating brunch with Grandma and Grandpa, some beloved cousins, and my brother and sister-in-law, whom I've named Rick and Jackie for the purposes of anonymous blogging. And Rick and Jackie let me know they are Not Amused.
"Rick? Really??" said Rick, spearing some sort of vegan eatable with his fork. "I mean, Richard, maybe, or Rich. But NOT Rick."
"On that note," said Jackie, "although I love the blog, I wish you'd called me something other than Jackie. I really do not like it." She said this with a grimace that suggested a visceral aversion to the name. Jackie is so beautiful you could call her Bertha and somehow it would suit her. But "Jackie," apparently, does not.
I asked them to suggest something better. "Keep the J and the R," I told them, because those are their real initials. Rick shrugged. Jackie said, "Anything you like."
"How about 'Ralph,' pronounced the English way ('Rafe'), as in Ralph Feinnes or Ralph Vaughan Williams?"
"But people will think it's 'Ralph.'"
"Jackie," I said, passing her a bagel. "How about Jules?"
Jackie seemed non-committal. "Sure, if you want."
So in the interest of keeping the peace, my brother and sister-in-law will henceforth be referred to here as if they were characters in an 18th-century novel: R-- and J--.