My first instinct in tackling this column today was to quote the Tove Lo song that shares the same name as today’s column and call it a day. Maybe add a couple paragraphs dissecting some of her lyrics, maybe leave it up to you guys to analyze what she means (if you haven’t already), maybe add a link to a recent interview of hers I came across — keep it minimalist (and turn it in on time for once), you know? I changed my mind late last night. Sitting on the couch, absentmindedly scrolling through readings for class the day after (read: make-up tutorials on Youtube), I could hear the throngs of brave students out on a Sunday spilling across the streets of Collegetown, laughing and talking. It wasn’t much different than any other Sunday, but it had been a while since I’d taken the time to observe the personalities that flit by College Avenue on a given night.
Starbucks never gets my name wrong: bold and thick, the four letters written with the sharpie mark my Cinnamon Chai Latte with comforting exactitude. My mother hated her name, could not bear the length of it, the excessive r’s and the harshness of the t, or maybe because of the fact that it was two names stitched together. For me, she wanted something short, the smoothness of the bilabial consonant, the bright ringing of vowels; she liked the literariness to it and its universality. It is impossible to mispronounce, to be corrupted by accents or unconventional variations or too many confusing syllables. During my exchange year in Maine, my little host brother used to spell it “Ma,” because “M is pronounced Em, and a is pronounced a.” Like the clarity of a crystal, it was simple and immediate.