Where did you get your name?
It’s a question I’ve heard my entire life.
I was first born, and a girl, so I didn’t get the male family name: William Creamor Scarborough. My little brother did.
My mom was up late night watching TV. She noticed the name of the main actress: a buxom Austrian beauty, Senta Berger. She found it beautiful.
Named after child actress, Shirley Temple, Mom thought it would be nice to share a film connection and initials: SS.
Later, I would see some of her films like When Women Lost Their Tales and one by one of my favorite directors, Sam Peckinpah—Major Dundee.
What I love and hate about my name? It’s unique and I was super shy as a kid. Many teachers couldn’t pronounce it and almost no one had ever known another.
As a kid, I heard all of the jokes: “Senta Claus, Sentameter, Sentapede, Senta of a Woman, Sentamilla (like Sensimilla marijuana)” and the list goes on.
Having a name no one else does means there’s no mixing you up with another. It taught me a lesson. Your word better be as good as your name.
It toughened me up and solidified my identity. Eventually, I grew to love it because I didn’t fade into the crowd. I was known by my first name. A nice byline to have as a writer. And it’s beautiful looking and sounding, at least to me. Thanks Mom!