Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
– Johnny Cash, “A Boy Named Sue”
My name is Kelsey and I’m a dude.
I watch football.
I have more than my share of chest hair — a result of always obliging when someone told me, “Here son, eat this. It’ll put hair on your chest.”
I think someone should invent cologne that smells like campfire or salty sea air.
I cry once every few years. But if you saw me crying, I would imagine whooping you on the spot, but wouldn’t because what kinda of sissy fights while he’s crying.
I drink beer (usually not much more than one or two at a time because it gives me a stomachache).
I spit (if I have something in my mouth).
I’ve won every fight that I’ve ever been in (with a 3rd grade girl when I was 8).
People often say that I sounds like Matthew McConaughey and he, my friends, was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine in 2005. It might have had more to do with his abs than his voice, but still.
Then why is that I’m constantly referred to as “Mam” by customer service people on the phone. “Mam, can you hold.” “Mam, that’ll be one second.” “Mam, why are you so upset.” “Mam, no, I don’t know what rhymes with ‘you’re a fupid sothermucker.” These people have my SS#, the name of my first childhood pet, the name of the street I grew up on, and they don’t know that I’m a dude!
I’ve been blogging for five years now, and I’m starting to get quite an archive of “A boy named Kelsey” rants. Today, I thought I would share my favorite…
(from May 7th, 2006)
For the first 15 years of my life my name was a guy’s name. Now that every other girl born is given the name Kelsey, my gender is often misidentified. When I was receiving info from colleges trying to woo me into attending, I received one letter from St. Mary’s all-girl school located in South Bend, Indiana. I’ve always been a fan of Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies and it humored me to no end thinking about four-years of cross-gendered hijinx.
Over the years I have received some interesting mail addressed to Ms. Kelsey Timmerman, including one letter asking me to join AARP. Still trying to figure that one out. Not only did they think I was female, they also thought I was over 50-years-old. Yesterday I received one of my more memorable pieces of mail, a postcard from the American Greetings Card Company looking for freelance writers to write cards. It was addressed to….
Countess Kelsey Timmerman
Holy hell! I’m a countess!
I think I know what happened here. A few months ago I attended the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and while filling out the online registration form, I chose “Count” as the prefix to my name. It was late at night and I was feeling punchy and I was cracking-up at the amount of prefixes to choose from. I could have been a Commandant, Commander, General, Duke. You name it. I chose “Count” because I am a huge Dracula fan, plus, it kind of goes well with Kelsey.
Count Kelsey… Wah-ha-ha-ha!
I was bummed when I saw my name tag at the conference – no “Count Kelsey” just plain ol’, boring, “Kelsey Timmerman.” The thing that gets me is that someone sitting at American Greetings company looked at my name on the list of conference attendees, saw “COUNT Kelsey Timmerman” from OHIO, and thought, “Geeze that can’t be right. They must have meant Countess. Kelsey is a woman’s name.”
Which is more unbelievable, that there is a guy with the name of Kelsey or that there is someone in OHIO – land of no castles and or royalty – that is either a Count or a Countess?!?