Tea Talk: Calling Names, Night Breaching & Shady Kids

by - October 16, 2016

We'll be walking through leaves
When summer's gone
We'll carry on
Blue - When Summer's Gone

A surprise post on a Sunday! Man, this brings back memories...

If you're like me (a little bit clumsy, uncomfortable and awkward during socialising), this might be something for you: The tea brand Pickwick has (some time ago) released their teabags with questions on the tags called 'Tea Topics'. This is, as expected, meant as a nice conversation starter or pick-me-up conversation goer. You know, that little extra boost when a conversation slowly dies and you're just staring at each other. In silence. Wishing the seconds away. These Tea Topics will have you talking for hours and hours on end! No silence anymore for you, my awkward tea-drinker! You'll be wishing they'd put a sock in it after asking these questions! Life saving! Children bearing! Peace resolving! (Not really, but it's a nice suggestion). Anyway. As it's getting colder outside I thought it'd be quite nice for us ('us') to cozy up a little bit. Litting the fire. Burying yourself in blankets. Anxiously holding on to a cup of tea that's actually just a little bit too hot to hold. Asking and answering questions. On a Sunday. Because you can. (Building 'teamspirit' and whatnot). You get me? So without further ado: start questioning/answering!

How would you call yourself if you were allowed to change your name?
I seriously don't know. There's never been a name that popped up whereby I thought 'that's so me'. I think you just sort of grow into the name you've been given. And otherwise it'll either naturally change into that what it supposed to be. Take for example the Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who's actually called Lourens A. Tadema.* He firstly, smartly, added his middle name to his surname BECAUSE, when he would be mentioned for instance in a catalog, he would be at the beginning of it. As A tends to come before T. So in this way his works would be mentioned first (as I said 'smartly'). When he moved to England Lourens swapped his Dutch name for the English version of it. So Lawrence it is. AND then he was made a 'sir' by the Queen of England (which is a very rare and special occasion for a foreigner). So Sir Lawrence it became.

Naturally you could say that nowadays usernames online can be seen as a way of 'giving yourself a new name'. Although I think it's more a case of creating an alter ego instead of a rightful representation of 'you'. I mean, David Bowie isn't just Ziggy Stardust (and David Bowie isn't even just David Bowie). But then again: a name is just a name. ("Call me whatever you like; I am who I must be" Friedrich Nietzsche). It's a way of representing a unity, an identity to what we otherwise would call 'I' or 'you'. It basically creates the definition of 'I' as being one, namely me being Dominique. But, as alter egos demonstrate (and I guess to some extend acting), there can be so much more to an 'I' that doesn't necessarily concludes under one name. Although I'm always a little bit cautious when somebody is trying to give themselves a nickname. I mean, it's something that I -again- think should come naturally. Lovingly, even. I thought it to be funny when I heard that Catherine II of Russia aka Catherine the Great herself added 'the Great' to her name.** Why? Well firstly, probably, because she thought she was great. But secondly, smartly, because she wanted to have her image connected to that of Peter I of Russia aka Peter the Great (as he was a great leader and she wanted to be a great leader too). She, again very smartly, commissioned a statue of Peter the Great (The Bronze Horseman) whereby her name, Catherine the Great, is written underneath his; seemingly as a sign to say 'he was first, now I'm second' or 'here's your new great leader'. Marketing, basically it all comes down to good ol' marketing. Same goes for our Sir Lawrence. Everything to get your work noticed...

Fun fact: if I were a boy I would've been called Pascal.

For what can I wake you up in the middle of the night?
My first thought was: when the house is on fire or flooded or if someone's hurt etc. etc. *touch wood* However I think this is meant in a more jolly way. Or, you know, it is meant to scare us and it intentionally, quite literally, wants us to wake up from our oblivious lives and self-centred-worlds, while drinking tea. For what can I wake you up? YOUR LIFE? Or, like, chololate will do fine too.

If you could go back in time what would you do?
Uhmm... depends on where I'm going... Say, going back in time to when I was a young kid and -with the knowledge that I have now- I'd prevent myself the hurt of being bullied time and time again by my 'friends'. We were kids, I was often ill, not there to 'secure my place', I get it (I actually don't because I don't see the point in bullying people just as a form of entertainment, just as something to do during lunch hour). We all get older and wiser (I hope). But maybe trying to stop myself from caring about them and feeling guilty about it back then would've helped me today. But it was hard for me to just give up our friendship. My first ever friendship. My friends, who would send me 'sorry I hurt your feeling' card one day and running away from me the other. (they were supposed to be my friends, but why did they make me feel so bad about myself? Ignore me? Runaway from me? Call me names? Call me stupid? It must've been me. It was all my fault. I am stupid). When we were just with the two of us everything was fine. It was only when others came into the mix that she turned her back on me (which would've been fine too, friendships come and go (or as I'm told), but it's not fine turning me into a target instead). So remember kids, shitty double-sided people who put you down because they 'feel like it' or are 'peer pressured' aren't worth your energy. They don't really care about you, they only care about themselves. And you don't need that shit. You're better off alone. Look at me! I'm alone and I'm doing perfectly fine. You don't need anyone else to 'complete' you. You need to be able to feel comfortable with yourself, on your own. Basically: Love yo' self! Don't wait for anyone else to do it for you. (That's not to say that you suddenly should be cured from all your doubts. I'm a walking doubting-machine, filling my head up with worries. But... you know... being alone isn't worrisome to me and neither should it be for you. End of preach).

That's it! Don't be shy to answer these questions in the comment section below. I'd love to read your answers. Also: if you've got some questions of your own, please leave them there too! Just give me all that you've got (maybe I'll use them for the next post... OoooOoooooOOooh!). Also Also: the new issue of Local Riot magazine is out! This issue is all about letters, including one of myself!*** (aahh!) (mine's so bad in comparison to everyone else) (but still go and have a look at it because my ego made a jump when seeing my letter was featured and I'm sort of weirdly proud/happy but also very nervous/hating my 'work'). It's all looking very swish and I'm just in love with the concept. Makes me want to go DIY myself (maybe I should start a zine of my own... maybe... not...).

[EDIT: Just a question that popped into my mind: Am I generic? Is this generic? Same-old same-old? Unoriginal? Boring? Uninteresting? Ol' school? Whatever? Ugh? 'I've seen/read this a thousand or so times before by other more interesting people than you and I think I'm going to either 1) die of boredom or 2) scratch my eyes out'? If so: what would you rather read that doesn't want to make you want to swallow your eyeballs after you've scratched them out of your skull? Just wondering...]


*I went to a lecture about him last Thursday (13 October 2016).
**Last week (6 October 2016) I went to a lecture about her.
***Page 63-64, if you were wondering...

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