Monday, December 14, 2009

Question 21-22 (From Other Jessicas Edition)

I really slacked on answering questions this weekend - hopefully to be taken care of today and tomorrow! It was an incredibly busy weekend, however, and FUN FUN FUN. Here's a summary to later be expanded on: Friday night Dashboard Confessional with Kells & Colleen, Saturday night was our apartment's FOURTH Annual Holiday Party and another rousing success, and Sunday was a day of clean-up, rest, and seeing The Road with Amber! But now to the questions....

My name is Jessica too, and maybe because it's so common, I can hardly stand it. My family rarely calls me Jessica too, so i have all sorts of nicknames. And maybe it's just me, but a lot of characters named Jessica in movies are really annoying. Guess I'm just weird. Anyway, how do you feel about the name?

THIS MAY BE MY FAVOURITE QUESTION. Because, yes, I totally understand where you're coming from - I've struggled with my name. (Not a depressive, inner struggle, mind you - more like, "man, that blows, but it's also kinda funny, anyway..." struggle). I depise nicknames for Jessica. I forbade my parents to ever call me "Jessie" and only allowed such an atrocity to my name be used by my grandmother who also called me "Heart" (way cooler, btw, and she's the only one that made Jessie sound cool). I give allowance for "Jess," but still, hardly anybody calls me that because I prefer all three syllables of my name to be pronounced.

"Jessie" is so grating that once in 1st grade the bus had to be pulled over because I erupted into screams at a boy who had been nagging from the seat behind me, telling me I was most likely a boy because there was a boy on our bus named Jesse and my name was also Jessie. Bus driver Bob told me to sit down and shut up and that memory is still as clear as day to me.

And yeah, Jessicas in fictional portrayal are the worst! It's the reason I'm so scared to watch the movie with my own namesake - Logan's Run. My father named me after a character named "Jessica Six" and it's a sci-fi movie so I'm sure it's super-nerdy and her whole name sounds cool, but given all the other examples of Jessica in film, I feel it's a risk.

When Erica and I started watching Heroes in its first season and Ali Larter's character Nikki has an evil alterego, CONVENIENTLY NAMED JESSICA, I was like "This is no surprise, OF COURSE her evil side goes by JESSICA. Of course!"

Fictional Jessicas:

Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) - Because when the movie came out when I was five years old, I really wanted to be associated with the sexpot?

Jessica Wakefield - she was the mean twin! She always got into trouble, and Elizabeth always looked like the angel compared to her. But I was always on her side because of her name. She was like bad-girl-cool from my perspective (though most other people thought she sucked.)

Jessica Sanders (Heroes) - see above.

Jessica (Twilight) - oh, the annoying, dumb friend that is just so shallow and doesn't get Bella because she's so vapid (and another generation is ingrained with dismal Jessica connotations!)

Jessica (Sleepless in Seattle) - played by Gaby Hoffman, this little girl connived to get her friend Sam a cross-country plane ticket even though he was only like eight years old. I personally give the character props for her computer and manipulating skills at such a young age. However, again, manipulative.

Jessica (True Blood) - how annoying was the new vampire in the beginning? Ugh. Now she's kind of better, and I'm definitely rooting for her. Save the name?

And the variations: Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell (aggressive, speed-taker who was always protrayed as way uptight and not as cool as Lisa Turtle, Kelly Kapowski, and even Tory) and Jessi Ramsey (Babysitter's Club JUNIOR member - so lame, reading those books I didn't want to be associated with a junior member! However, Jessi was not lamer than Mallory, let's be honest.)

And here's a bevy of famous Jessicas that tarnish the name: Jessica Simpson, Jessica Biel, Jessica Seinfeld (plagiarized her last book), Jessica Alba, Jessica Sierra (jailed American Idol contestant), ETC.

Jezebel even wrote an article called "Jessicas Are All Pretty Bitches." This, I believe, has to do with the fact that there are simply SO many Jessicas and when you have a giant population, there are the bad apples, and those are the ones with lasting impressions, no? It was a top baby name in the 80s and holy crap if there wasn't at least another Jessica in all of my classes growing up. Pretty much every guy I've dated has dated another Jessica.

However, I still like my name. It's still MINE. And people who know me know that I'm no manipulative crazyperson. AND, lemme tell you, there are some awesome Jessicas:

Jessica Stein (character from Kissing Jessica Stein) - she was uber-neurotic but she was also funny, written three-dimensional, and sweet.

Jessica Joffe - model, sometimes writer, girl-about-town, and former Ryan Adams girlfriend (the one he attributes to helping him kick drinking)

Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote) - DUH. Angela Lansbury is awesome; the only Jessica I liked growing up.

Also, Shakespeare invented the name "Jessica" for his play The Merchant of Venice - and that's a fact I absolutely LOVE about my name.

One more thing: my maiden name. Parker. Jessica Parker. Thus, with my marriage, I abolished having to hear every cashier, office receptionist, customer service representative, or work colleague reference Sarah Jessica Parker and/or Sex & The City. For one regular week I decided to count how many call outs I got regarding my name from strangers - average of one per day! (May be upped from the fact that I live in New York City, too.) Now that's all done, and it makes me just a little bit happier.

Anybody else have "Jessica" examples in pop culture? I'm obviously invested in this topic.

[Sidenote: Mom & Dad - I really do love my name, do not worry about this venting!]

Hey Jessica! I am just a mcs super fan here. I like to read your blog hoping to catch any mcs news, but also realized you are a really awesome person, in the process. Anyway, I remember reading somewhere (amidst my lurkings) that you once lived in Carlisle, PA? Are you familiar with Shippensburg, PA? That is where I grew up, and still visit family there, frequently. I currently live in Reading, PA though. I was just wondering about your experiences there. Also, do you know of Visual Addiction tattoo shop, in Carlisle? That is where I get all of my work done. Have a great day! -Jessica (that's my name too)

Jessica, thanks for reading!! Yes, I lived in Carlisle, PA for about ten months. My family and I moved there for my senior year of high school. And yes, I'm familiar with Shippensberg!

Well, my experiences in Carlisle are definitely some of the best or most memorable of my life: though I knew Amber beforehand we only became best friends when I moved to Carlisle, I met my best friends Kelly and Christy (both of whom grew up there), I had my first real relationship (and while absolutely horrible, I have to credit it for teaching me about relationships), I got my drivers license (um, yes it was late but you try dealing with "the system" and moving nearly every year of high school), and I graduated high school! I really liked Carlisle, compared to the other places I'd gone to high school. It was definitely a "turning point" year in my life! The places I remember most from Carlisle, besides the high school, are Mandy's (which I'm not sure is there anymore - but my friends and I always went to the open mic nights) and Letort Park.

Unfortunately, I don't know Visual Addiction - me, and most of my friends, were under 18 when I lived there so I didn't seek out any tattoo shops! Hope you're having a good Monday, yourself!

So I've got some more questions to answer...but you can also keep them coming!


  1. Hahahaha... I didn't ask that question, but I very well could have. Obvs my favorite blog of yours ever now.

  2. random Carlisle places! Mandys is closed, and I totes loved that place :( visual addictions is right downtown, jessica.

    And LOL at the degree of name research you have done!

  3. agreed that jessi was cooler than mallory. so much more elegant.

    you know what's odd? i actually did not know any jessica's until...5th grade. of course, i also went to small, private schools until then, but there seems to be fewer occurences of the name in the valley. (not CA.) i did, however, know A TON of amanda's. i always believed i was the coolest one.