One of the prompts this week is, "What is your name? How did your parents give you that name? Sounds pretty boring, no? Well, I'm here to tell you that my name is not quite that boring. In fact, it just may be the most interesting thing about me. How pathetic.
As a child I really kind of hated my name. Back then I wanted to be like all the other kids with common names like Amy and Stephanie and Erica. But no, I had this name that everyone pronounced as "Justin". But then my Mom told me the story of how I came to be Justine and I slowly but surely came to appreciate it. I even got upset the few times in my life I met another Justine. I'm just glad my name isn't very common, especially because all creativity went out the window, first with my brother, Jeff, then with my sister, Jill. Blah!
So here's how I came to be named Justine.
My mom was born in 1945, so, many hours of her teenage life were spent in front of the TV watching American Bandstand. She once told me that she would rush home from school so she wouldn't miss watching her favorite show, and most especially, her favorite regular dance couple on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Bob Clayton and Justine Carelli.
There she is, in 1957, my namesake, Justine.
Here's a little bit I found about them on the web:
Justine Carelli and Bob Clayton were the dream couple of the show, the star struck lovers. Justine started dancing on Bandstand in 1956, when she was still in junior high school. She spent almost an hour, five days a week, on the fifteen-mile bus ride from her school to the WFIL studios just to dance. Meanwhile, in Wilmington, Delaware, a young high school school student, Bob Clayton, was watching the show and falling in love with Justine. He made his way to the show in 1957 and asked Justine to dance. Letters poured in, and Justine and Bob became the most popular and best known couple on the show. The couple was on magazine covers, in newspaper articles, and appeared at scores of dances and shows. In 1960, they added singing to their partnership, cutting two records.Mom told me that she decided as a young girl that her first baby girl would be named Justine, after her favorite AB dancer, and 13 years later I was born.
I look just like her, right?
Anyway, I've often wished that I'd been a child of the 50s. What an incredible time it must have been, with so many changes happening in the world and such a sense of innocence for teenagers. Yes, that innocence was probably just an illusion of the time, but I still wish I could have experienced it.
As it was, I feel lucky that I was born at a time when American Bandstand would also become a part of my childhood, just as it was for my mother. The styles changed and that sense of propriety was a thing of the past, but at least I can say I shared a mutual love of something my mother enjoyed as a child.
Thank you Dick Clark. Both for my name and for the enjoyment you've always brought to my family.
Btw... people still pronounce it Justin!!!
Pssst! If you love me, you might love my