"Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith" (--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr)
Have you always liked your name?
I remember as a little kid growing up, my parents were both very literate, and my mom at one point evidently had the notion of naming us each after characters in literature. I think it was either my father or a broad stroke of luck that saved any of us from being called something like "Bathsheba" after Thomas Hardy's famous character in Far From the Madding Crowd. My maiden name was "Schmidt." Imagine: Bathsheba Schmidt. Famously, I then went from Schmidt to "Smith" when I married.
I admit that with a name like "Suzanne Smith," I have picked up my share of other peoples' clothes from the dry cleaner, (especially since I usually go by "Sue.") There is a definite anonymity to Sue Smith that I actually kind of enjoy. Let's just say, there are a lot of us out there.
When I first moved South, I lived in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and I can remember trying to cash checks at the grocery store. A native Elkton-ite would peer over his glasses at me, suspiciously eyeing me across the checkout counter, and say "Sue Smith...I don't think I know you, do I?" Having grown up in the NY metropolitan area, I'd think to myself, "And now, what's wrong with that?" I guess he was mentally castigating me for being not only a Yankee, visiting the South, but since I was now living in the South, a Damn Yankee at that.
I like the name Suzanne, but people often think I'm "Susan," and if they call out to me saying that, I won't turn around, because I don't think they mean me.
Just try checking into hotels: when my then-husband Bob and I would come to the hotel front desk, they'd sort of cast a knowing glance at us, as if to say, "Of course you're Bob and Sue Smith...sure you are!"
Of course, there are some infamous Sue Smiths as well--if you'll recall, there was one Sue Smith who tragically drove her own progeny into a lake.
My son Eric has the same problems with the name Eric Smith. There was an equally notorious story about a very young Eric Smith who bludgeoned another small child to death. When my son first went away to college as an undergrad, my parents would write to him all the time, and my dad would clip stories from the NY Times about other "Eric Smiths" and send them to Eric in letters. On my first visit to see Eric as a freshman on campus, I came to his dorm room door, and cracked up. The entire door was literally covered from top to bottom with articles from newspapers about abominable things that other Eric Smiths had done.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (--Willy the Shake)
(sketch after an image on a Victoria magazine cover)