Tag Archives: Kesler

Letter N #AtoZChallenge

Continuing the memoir encyclopedia theme with Letter N…

Napster

Remember Napster? I certainly do. Back in the late 90’s, Napster was my gateway to free music. This was a time before I realized the ramifications of copyright infringement. I’ve since grown up and now pay for music I listen to, but back then, I was blissfully ignorant.

At the time, we had one computer in our house, a slow desktop PC located in my parents’ bedroom that could be used sparingly. I’d sit down and dial up the internet to get started. That familiar deeee-dooooo-deeeee screech that kids nowadays will never know signaled that I was on my way to connecting to the interwebs. Using Napster, I’d search for the songs I wanted, and then download them. A few hours later, I’d be able to listen to the fruits of my labor. Sadly, most of the time the song was either poor quality or not the full length song, which meant I had to do it all over. Again, another frustration this generation will never understand.

Once I had all the songs I wanted, I’d burn a CD of my favorites, much like I used to make mixed tapes. Then, with careful penmanship, I’d label the CD with a title such as “Chill Music” or “Party Jams” and play them in my Mustang as I cruised around town with the windows down. Ahhhh, the good ole days!

Nicknames

Nicknames are a big thing in my life, which is surprising since I didn’t have a nickname as a kid. Well, that’s not true. I guess I sorta had a nickname when I was little. My mom told me that when I was 3 or 4, I used to introduce myself as NuNu Kesler whenever anyone asked me my name. My mom would correct me, slightly embarrassed that I told a stranger that was my name, but I was adamant that my name was NuNu. I have no idea where I got NuNu from Jennifer, but I was a weird kid, so there’s no telling.

Growing up as Jennifer, a common and very popular name, I’d often get called Jenny by people who didn’t know me. They quickly figured out that I despised being called Jenny, and it didn’t happen anymore. As an adult, it’s happened a few times, but I just ignore it and they get the idea that I hate it. I’m just not a Jenny. Often people will call me Jenn. While it isn’t my favorite, it doesn’t bother me. The only thing I ask is that it’s spelled with two n’s. I know…I told you, I’m weird.

Back in seventh grade, I had the pleasure of meeting the quirky, energetic, and fun-loving Lisa Day. Lisa was the queen of nicknames and anyone who knew her had at least one out-of-the-ordinary name. Her nickname for herself was Liter D. Her mom was Mutey and her brother was Feeney. I was named Fer-fer when she cleverly decided to use the second part of my name, but later she shortened it to Ferf. I enjoyed it and gladly answered to my new name.

Beginning sometime in high school, people started calling me Kesler, my last name. I have no idea how it happens, but in many different circumstances and circles of people, someone will start calling me Kesler and it then becomes a thing. I’ve always introduced myself as Jennifer, but somehow it usually morphs into Kesler or some variation of my last name, such as Kes-Kes, JKes, Kes, or just JK. I love my last name, so it’s a nickname I don’t mind.

Shaggers has given me a very unusual nickname, opting to only use the middle of my name. To her, Jeezy, and baby Marlowe I am Ennif (pronounced en-ee-f). I’m not sure when this nickname started, but it’s stuck for a while. I’m pretty sure only Shags could get away with calling me this.

I’ve also had a few other nicknames throughout my life bestowed upon me. At Sonic, I was called Goatalo, a name given to me by my boss Brice for some unknown reason. He even printed a name tag with it, something that was difficult to explain to customers when I delivered their food. At iD Tech camp, where we all go by nicknames, I was Sweet T, on account of the fact that I was from Texas (the T) and I love sweet tea. That was a pretty sweet nickname. Once I became a principal in China and became my friends’ boss, they’d tease me by calling me Bosslady, a name that drove me crazy! I don’t know why I let it bug me, but I used to get so mad at them for calling me that. At some point, it stopped bothering me, and I accepted it. As a parting gift, I got the coolest present from Donna, a pair of knee-high socks with BOSS on one and LADY on the other. They were perfect!

I also love giving people nicknames, and have bestowed many a nickname to my friends. I recently wrote about Linner and how I gave her the nickname. She hated it when I first started calling her Linner, but I wore her down eventually. Haha 😂 My dear friend Michelle is mostly called Michelle, but when I want to irritate or tease her, she’s Shelly. She won’t acknowledge it, but I know she hears me. My mom has an unusual first name, and when combined with her middle name, it’s so distinct and country-sounding. Her name is Telva Lou. Recently, Michelle and I were jamming out to my 90’s playlist when Mambo No. 5 came on. As you know, the singer of this catchy tune is none other than one-hit-wonder Lou Bega. In a stroke of genius, I decided to call my mom Telva Lou Bega (you have to say it really fast to get the full effect). Laughing hysterically at my new nickname for her, I called my mom to tell her, and you know what? She ignored me! It’s like she didn’t hear me. But, no, she heard me alright. I repeatedly called her that at least five times in that conversation, but she didn’t acknowledge it at all. She’s been ignoring my ridiculousness my whole life, so I guess she has plenty of practice. Anyway, it’s my new nickname for her, and I throw it into a text or conversation every once in a while. I’ll wear her down like all the others…just give it time.

My long-time friend named Jennifer was quickly given a nickname, mainly to differentiate us. Having a friend with the same name can get confusing, you know. She’s Beeners, based on her last name (well, her maiden name) Beene. Beeners is such a cool cat. She’s into unicorns and fairies and loves cats. Her positive outlook on life is refreshing and she’s soooo passionate about the things and people she loves. We’ve drifted apart some with the distance between us, but when we do catch up, it’s like nothing’s changed. She’s one of my people, and I love her.

Nicole

I can’t think of my adolescence without thinking of Nicole. Nicole and I were best friends from the fifth grade, when I met her mom at Heritage Park, the sidewalk park in my neighborhood just opposite Nicole’s house. Her mom said, “I bet you and my daughter would get along. You should meet her.” Well, she was absolutely right! Nicole and I were inseparable and spent nearly every day together in some way, either at one another’s houses or chatting on the phone for hours. Dude, we are a combo when it comes to talking…neither one of us can shut up! haha

We had so many sleepovers (mainly at her house) that we became intertwined in each other’s families. Her mom and dad would discipline me just like they would her when I stepped out of line, and vice versa with my parents. To look at us, Nicole and I were opposites. She was slender, with dark hair and blue eyes, while I was more curvy with blonde hair and green eyes. I remember wishing we wore the same size because a) I wanted to be thinner and b) she had the cutest clothes!

Growing up with Nicole through my formative years was the best! We relied on one another when we had friend troubles (girls can be really mean in middle and high school!) or boy troubles (one of us was always talking about a crush we had on someone and discussing the best way to get him to like us back). Being able to trust someone completely and know they have your back is rare, but we had that. This isn’t to say we never fought…we were teenage girls after all, but we never stayed mad at one another very long. She was like the sister I never had, and I loved her…still do, in fact.

After high school, we drifted apart, our lives going in different directions, but we’ve always loved one another. We used to catch up every once in a while when I happened to be in town and ran into her or her sister, but over the past few years, we’ve kept in regular contact and hang out any time I’m back in town and talk on the phone or text when I’m away. It’s interesting how it worked out and life brought us back into one another’s lives. I’m glad it happened. Nicole is my family.

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Nicole and me this past summer…I wish I had a picture of us when we were younger, but they’re all in albums at my parents’ house in Texas.

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Letter K #AtoZChallenge

Memoir encyclopedia entries for Letter K coming right up!

Katy May

Katy May, my cousin and first best friend, is a pretty amazing person. My mom and Aunt Alva were pregnant at the same time, and while I was supposed to come first, I was late and she was early. We are three days apart, something that she used against me when were younger and I now use against her. 😉 As kids, we didn’t look a thing alike. She was taller with stick-straight light brown hair and I had a mess of blonde hair that did it’s own thing. That didn’t stop our Meme from buying us matching outfits though, since we were practically cousin twins. That’s a thing right? Despite our differences, we were pretty cute though.

Katy 3

Katy

Katy and I grew up in cities about three hours apart, but our families got together often, so we were able to see one another. We loved playing house, and I loved going to her house for tea parties. As best cousins, we had some really great times, but we fought, too. I was pretty mean to her a few times, which I now regret. I know she forgives me, but it stinks to think I was such a turd to someone I love.

Katy 2

As we’ve grown into adulthood, our lives have changed. She’s a wife and mother of three, homeschooling her kids and keeping up with the day-to-day stuff you have to do as a mom. I now live halfway across the world, single, no kids. We make time together whenever I come back to Texas, and I treasure the time we get to spend together. I’m proud of the woman she’s become, and I love her so much!

Kesler

I love my last name. Kesler. It’s a solid German last name, it rolls off the tongue, and it’s a much cooler name than my generic first name, Jennifer. For some reason, I’ve been known as Kesler for as long as I can remember. Some people who meet me through mutual friends think my actual name is Kesler. What’s weird is that I never introduce myself as Kesler, but somehow it just starts. Maybe it’s because the world has far too many Jennifers. Maybe it’s just that cool. Who knows? Regardless, I’m more apt to answer to it than Jennifer.

Kids

I love kids! I don’t have any of my own, but I have the most adorable niece and nephew and my cousins’ and friends’ kids are really cute and fun to be around. Plus, I have the best job ever! I get to work with kids of all ages, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. More power to ya if you can work in an office all day with adults, but I would lose my mind! Being around kids means you never have a routine day. Each day is new, exciting, and fun. Kids can make you laugh just by being themselves. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have any kids of my own, but I am 100% sure that I’ll always be surrounded by them.

Kisses

First kisses fill your tummy with butterflies, excitement and nerves kicking in simultaneously. Technically, my first kiss was the summer after fifth grade on the last day of summer camp. It was the fastest kiss known to mankind, and I never spoke to him again. You can read about all the awkwardness here. My first real kiss didn’t happen until much later.

It was my junior year of high school, and I was just shy of 17 years old. We were sitting in his car in the Sonic parking lot after work one day. I really liked him, but I had been really nervous about him kissing me. I remember sharing my constant worry with my best friend, asking for advice. I’m sure she obliged, but it didn’t really help. My nerves persisted.

So there we were, sitting in his red sports car, chatting, when there was a lull in the conversation. Uh oh! This is it. I’m not ready. I watch his head tilt and slowly move toward mine. Just inches away from making contact, I put up my hand and stopped him. Ever the over-achiever, I didn’t want to do it wrong. What would he think? He’d think I was a horrible kisser, that’s what. I couldn’t bear to be labeled a bad kisser my first time outta the gate. He gave me a weird look, unsure of what to say. I blurted out, “I don’t know how to kiss. I’ve never done it before.”

Smiling a reassuring smile, he tells me it’s okay, he’ll help me. He went in for the kiss again, only this time, he coached me with tips to help me improve my technique. Thinking about it now, I’m sure I should have been embarrassed to have admitted I had never kissed anyone before, but I wasn’t. I let my vulnerability show and he was accepting. It was a great first kiss.

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