My name is not really Ginger. But you knew that.
Ginger is a fabulous name. I adopted it when I entered my local poly/kink community. I chose it for my red hair, and because I always thought that Ginger Grant from Gilligan’s Island was the epitome of womanhood. As a girl, I knew I was more of a Mary Ann…wholesome and spunky, but I longed to be a Ginger…sexy and desirable. I loved the name Ginger, It was pretty, it was appropriate, it was easy to remember. I adopted it on my various poly support message boards, and when I wrote, it was the natural anonymous pen name.
I have worked hard to keep my Ginger persona separate from my Given Name personality. I move between these two worlds without even thinking. In the kink community I have rarely talked of my children, or of my career. And it’s not because I am worried or fearful of being “outed” in some sort of witch hunt. Being Ginger allowed me, for a little while, to not be the mommy, to not be the responsible RN, or the good daughter. I could try on different personality characteristics, and discard what didn’t feel good or right, like cheap drugstore lip glosses.
Ginger is brave and sassy. She flirts and charms. New people don’t scare her at all. The idea of speaking in front of a group of people doesn’t even phase her. She is sexy and outgoing and magnetic, and all those other things that I always felt I lacked. When Ginger speaks, people listen. (They may not always like what she says, but at least they hear her.)
All those bad ass and brave things which I think are so polar opposite of The Real Me, needed to have a name, needed permission to come out. I am Ginger. But I’m also a girl who was born in 1969 and was named after a Barbra Streisand song. Last week, my father told Special Man that I had always been The Perfect Child. That was true. And it was a huge burden. Ginger came with no history, no baggage, and no expectations placed on her by anyone. She liberated me, and I was able to pick and choose who I wanted to be. Being Ginger simply allowed me to shed some of the fear that I always attached to stepping outside of my comfort zone. Being Ginger allowed me to get away from the terror of not being The Perfect Child. The Perfect Woman.
But you know what? I am imperfect bad ass. I married young. I had children. I survived a bad marriage, I graduated from nursing school at 36, I’m raising my family, alone, and I work full time. I reframed everything I knew about relationships and love, and I allowed myself to love again. I allowed myself to be loved. I’m doing big and brave things that I never thought I would do. Never thought I could do.
So Ginger, here’s to you. It’s time for me to own all the different things about you that are truly a part of me. My Mary Ann and my Ginger. My wholesome and my sexy. My little girl and my vixen. And I don’t have to be perfect at either.
I can be imperfect. Isn’t that glorious?