A Strange Last Name This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Strange? Is Strange, Lindsayhere?”

“Here!” I reply, as some of myclassmates snicker. I giggle too, then grimace, expecting a joke asstale as a piece of Wonder bread left on the kitchen counter since 1958.Yep. Here it comes.

“Well, young lady, that’s a verystrange last name!” the substitute teacher chuckles. Trying mybest to feign amusement, I slump into the cracked plastic chair andagain wonder, Why couldn’t I have been born with a normal lastname?

I was born on July 11 (yes, 7-11, like the conveniencestore) and was given the name “Lindsay Marie” to add to mysurname of “Strange.” Although my last name can bebothersome at times, I’m thankful that my parents didn’tgive me an odd first name. When they named their little darling“Lindsay,” they were certain that they had made an unusualchoice. However, after they observed that my preschool class had twoother Lindsays, they realized it wasn’t as unusual as theythought. But, they could certainly rest assured that few shared theirdaughter’s last name.

Last year, however, I met a fellowwith the last name of Strange in choir. We laughed until we could hardlycontain our delight as we shared stories of terrible“strange” jokes and realized we had a lot in common. Aftercontriving a brilliant story about our separation at birth as conjoinedSiamese twins actually born in Russia who shared a liver, we introducedeach other to our friends. We don’t look anything alike, but ourshared love for all things musical made our friends wonder if we reallywere related. (We probably are.) Of course, the comment was made,“What if you married someone with the last name Strange?”That’s just plain creepy.

Sorting through the mail hasalways been quite the event at our house. We often receive thingsaddressed to “The Strange Family” or “The Parents ofStrange Lindsay.” I would definitely give a penny for the thoughtsthat must run through our postman’s head.

A few weeks ago,a company sent us a colorful brochure inviting us to spend ourhard-earned cash on a sweatshirt, t-shirt, coffee mug, or mouse pad with“Strange University” emblazoned across the front. I had tosave the pamphlet.

Although I won’t be passing on my lastname, I plan to tell future generations about the Strange family. Afterall, we might share an odd last name, but I couldn’t be prouder ofthem. I often wonder, though, just what did my ancestor Strange do todeserve his last name?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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