Gravity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Aluscious red fruit, had been hanging from its original branch for some time, when suddenly, without warning, it came crashing down to clock Sir Isaac Newton on his noggin. "Gravity!" he declared in a stroke of genius. Little did he know that many years later a couple in Connecticut would recognize his discovery when they named their baby girl.

Many families suffer distress, insomnia, and even anguish when choosing a name for their first-born, but for my parents the solution was simple. My baby bracelet read "Gravity Goldberg." This left many family members puzzled and perplexed while others smiled and chuckled at the creativity of my parents.

Since then, remarks about my name have become as common as nervousness before final exams. These remarks are usually in the shape of overused jokes and puns. "I bet your feet are planted firmly on the ground!" or "You are a force I'd rather not reckon with!" My gymnastics coaches have often ordered, "Gravity! Go defy yourself" before I performed my high-powered flips.

In sports, possessing a unique name has certainly separated me from my competitors. I have rarely been forgotten by opposing coaches and fellow athletes. Sports columnists have used my name for numerous plays-on-words and one-liners. One journalist began his article with, "The Raiders simply failed to defy Gravity as her three goals helped lift East Granby over Windsor Locks in Tuesday's soccer game."

In fact, I have found only a few people who have passed up the chance to spit out a quick joke or two. Recently at CVS where I work, I encountered someone who was not one of the select few. The customer glanced at my tag and felt obliged to comment on my name. "Gravity," he murmured with a juvenile grin, "You must be pretty down to earth!" An unimpressive snort and obnoxious giggle followed his attempt at humor. I withheld my comments, as always, mainly because my job was at stake, and forced the muscles around my mouth to smile.

This never-ending harassment has given me three useful traits. I've learned to deal with people who haven't learned the art of tact, thus gaining tact myself. I've retained a sense of humor, and I've learned that being unique is a blessing. Now, having endured seventeen years of "Is that really your name?" I've grown thankful that my parents were brave enough to name me after the genius of a hard-headed man. c

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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