I realized I had a crappy first name when I was five.
Our family was moving from Chicago to Peoria. One day, close to moving time, sitting shotgun, my mother was running errands. At a stoplight she turned and said, “We’re moving somewhere where nobody knows you. If you’d like to change your first name, now is the time.” I had always gone by D.J. (and still do today), but the message I received in that moment was clear.
My parents must had made a horrible mistake naming me. So horrible, in fact, that it was in my best interest to use initials to hide both my first AND middle name. And maybe that wasn’t even enough. Maybe it would best to deep six the whole thing and start fresh.
And, to be fair, my mother was right. It’s not a first name you want as a child. Kids goofed on me because of it. Childhood is hard enough with a normal name like Gene, Paul, Ace or Peter (I’ve been listening to a lot of KISS recently). And let’s not forget how important it is to be popular in school. It’s everything. You don’t want something bizarre singling you out, making you a weirdo. You want to fit in. While I knew I couldn’t be cool with my real name, using “D.J.” seemed to work. So I kept it.
Over the years, however, I’ve found that I’ve grown to love my first name. People think the name is cool. It’s not – it’s just unique, but I’ll take the compliment. On first dates when my first name is revealed it is met with positive response. I suppose it makes me sound exotic. Mysterious. Like that Dos Equis guy.
I have a garbage memory, but, if mine serves me correctly (it often doesn’t) I believe I have never written about my first name on this site. I go by D.J. Paris in my personal and professional life. The D stands for Delfin.
The reason for the backstory is to establish context for the 2018 ThoughtsFromParis holiday card.
And, in case you didn’t click on any of the links above, my holiday card is a thing. More than a thing. It is, without question, the best holiday card any of my friends receive. I know this because they tell me. I also know this because their cards suck. Fourteen pictures of someone’s kids in a 4″x6″ collage is not exactly what I want to display on my mantle. (I don’t have a actual mantle, so I balance the cards atop the guest bathroom toilet tank next to the adult wipes.)
Let’s pause for a moment to reflect that I am so thoughtful in my role as host that I provide adult wipes in the bathroom to guests. I’m not saying I’m the most thoughtful person that ever lived, but I’m not not saying it either, okay?
Back to the holiday cards. In case I didn’t clap myself on the back hard enough earlier, my cards fucking rule. One year I was several meerkats. Another time I inserted myself into a weird family. And yet another weird family. I even once created my a fake family. I morphed into Poodle Businessman. Once I was Delf On The Shelf. Last year I was a Hallmark holiday movie star.
This year I was Waldo.
I have a Chihuahua named Meepers and a cat named Pantaloons. And while the name Meepers means nothing, Pantaloons is named after old-timey underwear. They’re in the picture above, too.
As I was working on this card, being Waldo meant I wouldn’t use my more common moniker. “Where’s D.J.?” doesn’t look right. “Where’s Delfin?” is funnier. And, let’s face it, that name is ridiculous. So I went with it, even though nobody on the planet calls me Delfin.
What if I really did have peeps at Shutterfly? I guess if I was famous they might give me special favors with my card orders, but in return each year I would be contractually obligated to mention them on the blog, or you know – no more 80% discount codes on glitter envelopes.
The reviews from the above card are in. The feedback is that this is my finest effort to date. And it probably is. The bad news is now I have to top it in 2019. I always thought that a full-nude painting of me would be the ultimate holiday card to my loved ones. But before I commit to it, I need to make a list. I’m not exactly at my fighting weight, so I ought to drop ten pounds first. I should do a few pushups, too. Ooh, and let’s not forget to manscape. And I should probably start perfecting the sultry look I’m going to give the camera as I make love to it with my eyes. It’s time to get organized. I have a bar to clear.
I believe that someone has to send cool cards. I’ll always believe that.
So, I do.