...And a Partridge in a Peartreee

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“Maura Partridge.” For the most part, it sounds like a (for the most part) normal name. I mean, it could be much worse. My last name could be something like “Flippenbottom” or “Winklebob.” Thankfully I am not the unfortunate owner of those peculiar last names. I do however, am the owner of a rather interesting one. It’s taken the extensive period of 10+ years to really embrace my last name, even though people always sing to me whenever the word “Partridge” enters their ears…

Come on, admit it. The first thing that comes to mind when the word “Partridge” is mentioned is the cheery Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a peartree,” those just may be the seventeen words I have heard more than anything. Back in the days of Dora the Explorer and Lunchables, having a last name as a part of a Christmas song was the bomb. Every little kindergartener’s eyes would wander over. Those 10 seconds of fame made me LOVE my last name. However, Dora the Explorer turned into MTV and we suddenly switched from Lunchables to pricey school lunches. Middle school, the awkward stages of braces and discovering the descendents of ape we like to call boys. Somehow between sporting an extremely attractive haircut and braces, I was granted the nickname Peartree. Even the teachers knew me by my nickname. “Partridge in a Peartree can you put number 3 on the board please?” or “Maura Partridge in a Peartree are you here?” were common phrases that repeated daily. Let me tell you, my dear reader. I am NOT a fat bird. And I’ve never actually sat in a peartree.

The only thing worse than immature middle school kids is middle aged adults who watched too much TV as a young child. I can’t tell you how many times on the first day of freshman year the words, “OH MY GOSH MAURA PARTRIDGE DID YOU EVER WATCH THE SHOW THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY? I LOVED DAVID CASSIDY! ARE YOU LIKE LAURIE PARTRIDGE?!” echoed in my ears. Annoying right? I’m sorry if my love of musical theatre caused a confusion, but my family does not sing in a band together. My sisters’ names are Julia and Emma, not David, Laurie, Keith, Chris, and Tracy. We also don’t have a widowed mother or a band manager named Reuben Kinkaid. Okay, I admit it, I have sat down and watched the show before, and for the most part, it’s actually quite tolerable. What bothers me is that most people over the age of 40 ask me to belt out a verse or two of “Come On Get Happy” or “I Think I Love You.”

Now I don’t mean to make it seem like I have some sort of wretched hatred toward my name. I actually don’t at all; it’s easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and comparatively, it isn’t totally mortifying (need I mention Flippenbottom or Winklebob again?). With a name like Partridge, it doesn’t just pass through someone’s mind. It lingers there for a while, while they hum the tune to The Twelve Days of Christmas or reminisce about their obsession with David Cassidy back in the 70s and how “dreamy” and “groovy” he was on The Partridge Family. I’ve tried ignoring people’s comments, but then I look back and realize, sure, I may not be a bird given to a loved one on the first day of Christmas, and I may not have a musical genius family, but I’m Maura Partridge…. And for the record… I secretly like the nickname Peartree.





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