My sister is six years younger than I am. One day we were at a friend's house and I did some forgotten (by me) unkind big sisterly thing and she wrote me and my friend a note that said, "Your stu pod."
When my friend and I recovered she said, "I'll be stu and you be pod; those are your initials anyway." We called each other by the monikers from time to time, but like most things that spring up in seventh grade, they eventually fell away.
High school was an era of monogrammed sweaters and people would note that mine spelled a word, but, again, it was nothing more than a passing comment then on to English Lit.
In college, I worked at a drinking establishment. College students, being long on need of entertainment but short on cash, had the unfortunate habit of writing bad checks. To try and control the situation a bit, the owner posted a "Bad Check List." Employees had to check the list every time they took a check and initial the corner; if the person was on the bad check list and the just-initialed check bounced, the employee was responsible for covering the check.
"pod" graced the corner of a lot of my friends' checks. And then it stuck. Dozens of folks call me nothing else. Mr. Blandings calls me pod; if he uses my first name it makes my head jerk up in alarm. Like the middle and last name of my childhood scoldings, my given name on my husband's tongue means trouble.
It's not exactly a pretty name and I'm sure there are folks who have heard it and have wondered its origin.
Recently one of my readers emailed that she had seen some of Lost City Products embroidered textiles at the Chicago Merchandise Mart and that they were quite great. A few of their patterns were inspired by Josef Frank. Personally, I was thrilled to see one of the patterns contains pea pods. But what I found most interesting is that on the site they note the inspiration for all of their hand-embroidered designs. In addition, they tell the story of their company and the evolution of the new line of silks. And they do it in an incredibly entertaining way. So rather than recap here, I'm sending you there.
At a dinner party on Saturday which was lively and engaging and relaxing and easy all at the same time, we stood in the kitchen talking forever. Neither hosts nor guests would be aware of my maiden initials or my alias so I was expecting to see my given name at my spot. When we sat down to dinner I found my place identified by the graphic black ink on the crisp white card marked clearly, "Mrs. B."