My parents tell me they assumed I’d be another boy and planned on naming me Christopher. My arrival ruined that plan so I became Crystal instead. My mother is a very orderly person and both parents are educators. We laugh that they named their kids in Alphabetical order–Anthony, Bryant and Crystal. My dad wanted a fourth child and swears she would have been called Diane.
I’ve never particularly liked, nor disliked my name. It’s just my name—the only one I know. I think I’m just happy my name won’t necessarily get me thrown out of a résume pile before my skills are assessed. People have had fun with my name over the years. I had an art teacher in high school who called me Crystal Chandelier. A guy used to call me Ice Crystal. And of course people like to have fun pronouncing it like the famous champagne. A professor at The Ohio State University whom I admired, Mary Ann Williams, once chatted with me about the meaning of my name. She used the words clear, transparent and reflecting light. She said it much more poetically than I’m recounting it now, but I remember her ending the conversation instructing me not to bury my light.
Growing up I never found my name on any personalized items. Now, I see it more often. I guess the show Dynasty helped popularize my name, although the character spelled her name with a K. I’m fond of saying there’s a song for everything, but trying to find a song about a girl named Crystal was pretty hard. At one point, all the female coworkers on my team had famous songs with their names: Laura by Christopher Cross; Shannon by Henry Gross, and Michelle by The Beatles. I had to settle for songs that at least had my name in the title: Crystal Ship by The Doors, Crystal by BW, Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James & The Shondells. I even originally bought the song Mirotic by DBSK because I heard my name in the song. It went something like this:
Guy singing Korean lyrics I don’t understand, sarang… (Me: Ooo! I know that word, it’s love!)
More lyrics I don’t understand, Crystal… (Me: Did he just say my name?)
More Korean, kwaenchanayo… (Me: OOO I know that phrase, it means It’s alright or I’m okay!)
and so on…
When I heard the song the next time and confirmed that he had indeed said Crystal, you know I just decided those guys wrote a song about me. I mean who can argue with me? No one I know speaks Korean fluently. Later I found out they got banned for singing the chorus “I got you under my skin.” Because of course I’m just that hot. Okay, just let me live in my fantasy world for another minute.
I have mostly good associations with my name. There was crystal rock candy when I was a kid. Crystal quartz are used for healing, to absorb negative energy, for meditation, Chakra balancing, and protection. They seem to have a mystical quality in some circles and are said to bring harmony into the home. There’s also Swarovski Crystal jewelry and collectibles which are pretty and pricey.
I don’t know if a person takes on the qualities of the name they’re given, but I believe that like a crystal I have many of the facets attributed to them.
Inspired by the Daily Prompt.