Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rocky Horror

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone quote Rocky upon discovering my name, I probably wouldn't be a millionaire, but I would certainly have a whole truck load full of cents.  "Yo, Adriane, " is a phrase that I have encountered on a regular basis, in a hundred different affectations and a few dozen badly slurred impersonations, every year since I was eight years old.  In fact, it is a rare month that passes without having had been the butt of the old Rocky joke at least once.

And working behind a bar increases those statistics by an enormous measure.  The joke, if you can even call it that, is so worn out by now that I can hardly manage to muster up my own tired/clever response.  "Oh yeah, good one."  "Hey, now you'll never ever forget me."  "I haven't heard that one all day."  "No really, I've just never heard that before."  

When in reality, all I'm actually thinking is: You're a moron, please go away and damn you Sylvester Stallone. 

As a film geek myself, I suppose it is only fitting to have my name associated with a three time Oscar winning film. In that respect, I guess it's not so bad.  

I was born in the summer of 1983, in the midst of the Rocky mega-saga.  The film had already achieved huge box office sales and an entire cabinet of awards and nominations.  It was truly a smash hit (pun intended). 

Given the timeline of my own much anticipated debut, alongside that of the Rocky saga, many people assumed that my name was inspired by the fighting champion's main squeeze, Adrian.  In fact, the assumptions are alive and well today, some thirty years later. 

I had a nickname from K-12 that spared me from the Rocky ridicule most of the time.  My brothers, having been only a few years older than me, couldn't say the name "Adriane" when I was born, so instead, they settled on "Dede."  And then it began, round one of the epic boxing match of my life: the Dede vs. Adriane showdown. Ding! Ding! Round one! Fight!

So, wait, what's her name? Which one do I call her? Which do you prefer? 

Though I'm not entirely sure how it happened, around my junior year of college, people began addressing me by my formal name, Adriane.  And in social settings, when introductions were exchanged, I decided to give my childhood nickname a rest, and dust off my actual given name. 

It was after all, my dad who'd chosen the name to commemorate and honor his hometown of Adrian, Michigan.  As shocking or disappointing as it may be, I will clarify that I was not named after the Rocky saga.  Not even a little bit. 

By the time I was born, my dad had already circled the globe, having visited over forty countries.  And of all the places that left a lasting impression, it was his small hometown in southern Michigan.  I am named after a place, not a late 70's boxing flick.  

It's been a good seven years since I decided to own up to my given name.  While I have deep rooted affection for both names, Dede and Adriane, I have to say that I've grown into the latter.  It's not that I've grown out of my childhood nickname per se, rather that I've grown accustomed to both.  I find it endearing that half of my best friends and brothers still call me Dede, while the other half of my best friends, business contacts, professors and my father of course, refuse to call me by any other name than that which is imprinted upon my driver's license and diplomas.  

I have come to appreciate both names for very different reasons.  And I have also learned that whichever name you decide to address me by says a little something more about you than it does me.  It speaks to how you see me and what type of history we've shared or hope to share.   

No matter how it is spelt, across the board, Adriane means "dark and rich."  I'm not exactly sure how relevant the meaning is to my overall character, but it sure does sound intriguing.  

I doubt the Rocky horror name game will ever cease to exist.  I am fairly certain the bad Stallone impersonations will forever be entangled with my life.  Perhaps I need to work up a new, more punchy response.  Or perhaps, appropriately so, my response is as tired as the punch line. 

Alas, I do like my name.  It's strong, dark, and rich, and is associated with an idyllic place.  It is part of my family's history, and my father's legacy.   

Hello, I'm Adriane.  That's my name, don't wear it out. 


Rocky's Dilemma

1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Grand Marnier 

Stir and strain into a martini glass. 

Photo origin 


  1. I remember when we used to drive to Adrian, Michigan. We would pull over to the side of the road where the city limits of ADRIAN, MI were properly displayed. I would then remind you that you were named after this town. In a manner of attempting to get a reaction, I would prompt you to get to get out of the car and stand next to the sign. In your consistently independent spirit you refused. I would try again in Adrian, New Mexico howbeit far from my hometown. I stand by the selection of Adriane as a name but more importantly we rejoice in YOUR BEING IN OUR LIVES as our special and only Daughter Adriane. YOU ARE SPECIAL AND DON'T EVER FORGET THAT!

    1. I think I got out and stood by that sign a couple times! Haha, thanks for the sweet words dad... I'm one lucky girl. xoxo

  2. I have always loved your name and have never called you anything but Adriane. Your parents did a wonderful job in keeping all of you with names that any genealogist would love doing research on! It is well known that the Irish are a very proud nation. Much of their pride is in their heritage but most importantly their name. Making the past an undeniable part of the present.
    The old Irish name pattern is so helpful to genealogists;

    1st son was named after the father's father
    2nd son was named after the mother's father
    3rd son was named after the father
    4th son was named after the father's eldest brother

    1st daughter was named after the mother's mother
    2nd daughter was named after the father's mother
    3rd daughter was named after the mother
    4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister

    I would like to know what you think of your middle name.

    Keep writing Adrian! You are an inspiration! Love, Aunt Carol