Updates from new blog at www.nextchapternewlife.com/blog/

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yes, I am from Kansas. Confessions of Dorothy

For some of you reading this blog, you already know that fact but for others of you, this may be news. As I grew up, there was the acknowledgement that there was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and she was from Kansas. That was about it. No big deal. Then I left Kansas. (Oh Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!)

For the first several years after I moved to Oregon, I had countless reactions when people found out about this factoid. I was gifted with t-shirts with Oz related graphics along with countless paraphernalia. My personal favorite was the day I was in the neighboring engineering group at work. They had what amounted to a Burma Shave series of signs: 1- Oh Toto! I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore! 2- If Dorothy isn't in Kansas, where is she? 3- Alive and well in marketing, one aisle over. I even had a group give me a "Witch-be-gone" kit which consisted of a spray water bottle, ruby slippers and instructions for knocking off a witch. I can soundly say that when many people make this connection, they have found countless minutes (which has turned into years) of joy and laughter. It pleases me to be the source of fun, even if I didn't invent it myself.

So, you may wonder, how did I end up with that name? Many people speculated that I was named after Judy Garland's character in the movie. That is not the case. My sister named me. When my mother went to the hospital to hatch me, my sister Jane stayed with my aunt and uncle. This would be: Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Gene. Ahhh, you're starting to get it. My mother had picked out the name Jean but couldn't figure out a second one to go with it. When Jane showed up at the hospital to check me out, my mother asked her what name she thought would go well with "Jean". Instant answer (as only a 5 year old does) "Dorothy-Gene". This was her affectionate moniker for the seamless team that was my aunt and uncle. Rolls right off the tongue, don't you think? I am named after my aunt AND my uncle. The Wizard of Oz simply wasn't given a thought.

Despite the origins of my name, I finally figured out how to get people to remember me. It only took 50+ years. Now when I introduce myself, I follow it up at some point with: And Yes, I was born and raised in Kansas. Yes, I have ruby slippers and Yes, my husband thinks he's Toto.

I love the association because I have found many lessons in the story. The lessons: - Have a path and a goal – Love your friends – Love your family – Strive to continuously improve yourself – Be hopeful – Sing and skip – Know you are capable of doing more than you realize – When you've been through a tornado, braid your hair. I am Dorothy from Kansas and I continously live in the land of Ahhhhssss.

PS: I don't think it would have gone quite as well if I had been named Scarlet O'Hara, do you?



whalechaser said...

Very cool story! Thanks for sharing.