Ronide (Row-NEED). That’s my name. When I was young, my mother told me that my name was originally supposed to be Meagan, But my father, Ronald, came in last minute to change it to Ronide so it could resemble his. I was told that the disagreement over my name was a clash between my mothers’ family and my father. As a young child I thought that story was so captivating! The thought of two factions waging verbal warfare over a newborn felt historical.
But now looking back and thinking about it, it actually made no sense. In fact, that story was a damn lie! None of that actually happened! I found out by reminding my parents of the story, only to be greeted by failing memory of any occurrence of that situation.
Yup, that’s Haitian parents for you. They will literally sell you a story and you’re sitting there like a sucker, buying it all. What else were you supposed to believe? They’re your parents!
Let’s not even start with their damn dreams! Haitian parents are extremely dramatic! Every time their child gains a little freedom, they use these “prophecies ” to prevent their child from pursuing their opposed goals. Before doing anything my mother would tell me dreams like:
Me: Hey mom, I’m heading to my friends house for a sleepover
Mom: No! You can’t! I just had a dream this would happen! You got kidnapped!
How is it possible that I told you of my plans .5 seconds ago, and you suddenly take a quick nap, awakening with “visions”?
Lawwwwwwdddd! The lies!
But once a child questions those dreams or reveals them to be false, their response is God told them that! And who are you to question God? So you just have to go with the flow, because if you are against God and your parents, you are going straight to hell! And nobody wants that, right?
The funny thing about being called Meagan, was that it was actually a great feeling. It was an escape. You see Meagan was considered a “Normal name”. I always thought that my name was peculiar. I remember praying every night to God that he would somehow change my name so I could somehow fit in with the rest of the kids just to finally feel normal. I prayed and I prayed but still woke up as Ronide.
The reality is, my name is Ronide and that’s what it was intended to be.
In elementary school, I was never the popular girl. I was never that girl that everyone flocked to. I was just the girl who was just here. Here for lunch, here for gym, and also here for attendance. Ugh, attendance! I always cringed everytime the teacher called my name (Ron-ee-day) and I had to say “here”. From the looks from other classmates,I could tell that they were laughing at me. The fact that my teacher was still mispronouncing my name wrong didn’t make it any better. In fact just saying here was excruciating. Like, come on! I was already quiet and now I had to open my mouth as wide as I possibly could with my weird nameto proclaim my existence with everyone staring?
You buggin! (Slang word for “out of your mind”)
Lex: Ugh you are such a weirdo, only a loser wouldn’t understand what buggin means!
Me: Go away Alexa, this isn’t about you.
The school day had just begun and I was already ready to be picked up so I could go home.
As an adult my name can still be a challenge. After the inital greeting, the conversation usually goes:
Random person: “What’s your name?”
Random person: “Come again?”
Random person: “How do you pronounce it?”
Random Person: “row nee dee?”
Random person: Ro neet?
Random Person: Ummmm
Me: You know what? Just call me Roro
Random person: “Hmmm Roro I like that!”
Me: Yup that’s my nickname
Random person: “Oh alright cool! Row row row your boat. Golly that’s a nice name!”
But out of all convos surrounding my name, the most annoying is during job interviews. Let’s be real here! A black woman with an odd name living in America already has the odds stacked against her. In contrast, complex Caucasian last names are seen as foreign, or rich in heritage. As a result, it is a must to pronounce their long ass Eastern European names.
I mean seriously , if they can learn how to pronounce Jovanovic or Tchaikovsky, then they can learn how to say ROW-NEED. (Not trying to discredit anyone with a difficult European name, just trying to paint a picture).
I actually had one over the phone interview where an employer said :
Employer: Ronide? What is that?
Me: Ummm , it’s a name
Employer: Looking at your name on the resume, I assumed you were a boy.
In my mind, I was like:
But what actually came out of my mouth was “No, I’m actually not a boy, I am a girl…. well a woman. But, umm thanks for your observation”
I literally was dying inside. And honestly, if a hand were to give her face a high five, I wouldn’t mind that either. In fact, that would have made my day. Actually, I kinda want to go call her back right now! Is it too late?
Lex: Ronide, stop It you know you don’t have the balls.
It took me years to accept my name. I even did research on my name to find the origin and the meaning. I was so excited that my expectations instigated my imagination. I was already envisioning an indigenous country that hasn’t been colonized in Africa, filled with black women who were warriors. Like they were ready to fuck up anybody that tried to overthrow them! And I’m not talking about guns! I’m talking bo staves, glaives, swords and fists made out of iron! On some Dora Milaje shit!
After years of research, you know what I found?
Shit. I found nothing but shit. In fact, my search engine kept on asking me if my name was a typo. (I swear, I never wanted to shoot the fade with Google more than ever)
Lex: Ahahahahaha you’re a nobody in real life and on the internet!
I was devastated but that’s when I realized that it was up to me and no one else to define my name. So with that being said, allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is
I am a huge fan of The Office (US version is superior. Don’t @ me.) I am a lover of wine, the arts, and pizza. And I am a child of Christ.
I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a great friend and I am a friend of yours. I am and will forever be a Brooklyn girl! Aye! Shout outs to Brooklyn!!!
But most importantly I am a beautiful Black Haitian woman who loves her blackness and loves her name!
So, if there are any Ronide’s out there, I would love to meet you!
Until next time! Bye!