More Client Questions: What’s in a name?

…and the questions keep coming! Got one? Bring it.

1. Why Annie Calhoun? Did you use the “first name of pet,” “name of the street you grew up on” system?

Nope. If I’d have done that, I’d have a pretty funny name indeed.

I’ve always loved the movie Groundhog Day, and Andie MacDowell plays the leading lady. I LOVE her, and I love her in that movie. Something about her manner is just so adorable and sexy and clever. I love the name “Andie,” but there was already a girl in town using that name, so I chose Annie instead. And for some reason, Annie seemed to fit me better, anyway.

My last name is a bit more complicated.

Let me rewind a bit: I’m terrible at making decisions that I know I’ll have to stick with. When I was picking out a name for my dog, I was working from a list of 47 names, hahahah. So, when I was deciding on a last name for myself, I was at a loss. The worst part was, I had to come up with something fast, because I wanted to start posting ads and creating a website and profiles, etc. What a ridiculous thing to stress about, right? But stress I did.

So, my last name has two sources: 1) It’s inspired by a running joke. A friend and I used to get a real kick out of reading about a couple of absurdly out-of-touch New Orleans socialites, and that’s one of their family names. 2.) “Calhoun” is the name of a street in Uptown New Orleans. I was driving down S. Claiborne Ave one day, and I saw the sign for Calhoun St., and I thought, “Eh, that’s as good a name as any.”

And, just as I’d feared, I’m stuck with a name I don’t really like. Well, I love “Annie,” and I feel it suits me really well. But “Calhoun” just doesn’t really seem…right. I feel like there’s something that would work better, but there’s not much I can do about it now, so I guess that’s that.

2. Master of Fine Arts?

Yep. They call that an MFA. I also have an MA. And two BAs. Ask me what they’re in–but only once we’ve met in person.

3a. Why don’t you screen people by physical attractiveness? I know I would, and it seems like you’re successful enough to take that liberty.

This is a great question. The truth is, I really don’t think asking people to submit photos for screening would be very useful. I have trouble gauging physical attractiveness before I’ve spent a few minutes with someone. People don’t realize all of the factors that go into attraction–physical appearance, sure, but then there’s mannerisms, voice, intelligence, sense of humor (that’s a huge factor for me), etc. Also, even if I could judge attractiveness based on a single photo, there are many, many people who are super photogenic, but once you meet them, you think, “meh” (I know we’ve all experienced this, now that we’re in the age of Facebook,, etc.).

3b. Is it easier to be with people that you’re not physically attracted to? It seems like building intimacy can be a double edged sword, in that you could enjoy your work too much so that it spills over to your personal life. Having less attractive “friends” seems like a convenient way to prevent that type of situation.

Nope, it never spills over into my personal life, regardless of physical attraction (or lack thereof). This is a very specific type of relationship. It’s clearly delineated–there are very, very clear boundaries that we all know to respect. My personal life is completely separate from the time I share with my clients.

Sidenote: Who has enough money floating around to give you a $500 Amazon gift card? Well done.

I’ll never tell (and he actually gave me two).

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