The Good Flea in her Jones Natural Chews jacket

How the Good Flea Got Her Name

How the Good Flea Got Her Name

Memory is a dangerous thing. Especially when it doesn’t work correctly. I am going to tell the story of how the Good Flea got her name, but part of it is my childhood memories, the other part stories as they were told me by third parties, years later. Only my mother really knows the truth – if her memory is accurate.

The Good Flea as a young wild child
This is the Good Flea little, when she was young and innocent and still a real redhead

Growing up I remember being told that my little brother (we’re a year apart) couldn’t say Felicia, that he called me Flea. The name stuck. It was cute for a little red head with freckles. When I started first grade I remember my mom telling me that I had the choice to be called Flea or Felicia at the new school. She said that the one I chose would probably be the one that stuck with me for life (I always think of this when I watched Tootsie, with Dustin Hoffman, and the romantic interest told the story about picking the wallpaper for her room as a child). I chose Flea. It got me lots of attention – duh.

Was The Good Flea’s Name the Truth? Or a Lie?

Fast forward 23 years. I’m 29 and have just had my third child, Nathaniel. He’s beautiful, and we’ve chosen his name because it sounds masculine and strong. It really does suit him. Β One of my mom’s family (yes, I’m protecting the guilty by not naming … and … I can’t … remember …) called and asked why on earth I named my boy Nathaniel, like I should know better. So I explain the strong masculine thing, so proud of myself for coming up with a good, non-family name (my daughter is Era Mae, after a grandmother, and the second child is Harry Oliver, V). It’s not an archaic, wussy or made up name. Yay me!

Angry little boy
My young Nathaniel, now nearly 16 and a Boy Scout
My middle child
My young Oliver, now a high school graduate with a beard
Daughter and dog
My young Mae, now out of high school and a talented musician – and yes, that’s a perfectly good dog, a Yorkie named Hawk, who lasted all of six months before finding the perfect home

It turns out (this is what I’ve HEARD), that my mom’s first in-laws (no longer in-laws, but outlaws, after I turned four) nicknamed me Flea very early on. Which explains why there are baby pictures of me, months before my brother was born, labeled “Flea”. It had nothing to do with my brother (who shall remain nameless – again to protect the guilty – he knows what he did). When he came along a year after me, the in-laws wanted to name him Nathaniel. They wanted a Flea and a Nat. My mom refused. Yay mom!

It Wasn’t Intentional! Honest!

So my family was a little concerned that I was playing some kind of evil joke on either my child or my mother. Honestly, up to that phone call, it never even crossed my mind that my son could be called Nat. Had I not named him such, I would never know the REAL story behind my name. If that is the real story …

And yes, I still prefer to be called Flea, for the same reason. It gets me more attention – duh. It’s also the perfect dog blogging name, yes? But you can call me Felicia if you want to. I just won’t answer. πŸ™‚

Giveaway

We’re near the end of our Jones Natural Chews dog treat giveaway period. The Good Flea says you should enter to win treats for your dog! Talking in the third person is kinda fun. You should try it. The Good Flea says to click this sentence, leave a comment on the new blog post which will open, then click the entry box and click I Commented! That oughta do it. For good measure, follow @JonesChews on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Every little bit helps!

The Good Flea says to enjoy your weekend with your dogs.

Spreading the good chews …

Flea

29 thoughts on “How the Good Flea Got Her Name

  1. That is definitely one of the best “how I got my nickname stories” ever! Thanks for sharing!

    It is also funny how you chose Flea because it got you more attention….Growing up I was a very shy kid and having an unusual first name (Taryn) brought me gobs of highly unwanted attention! I hated my name when I was little, but once I learned the world wasn’t such a scary place, I have always been thankful my parents gave me a much less common name.
    Taryn recently posted..Wilson’s Wheaties on Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  2. Mommy likes your version, mainly, because she can’t remember that far back. She named you Felicia Anne after the Feliciana parishes in Louisiana. It means Happy Land. And you were a happy baby from the start – also very active, just like a flea. Also, it’s easier to scream “Flea” out the back door when calling you home.

  3. Oh my gosh, what a great story! What bad, bad out-laws – hoping for a Flea and a Nat. Nice. Real nice.

    It’s tempting to name a character in one of my books “Flea.” I had always just assumed it was because someone (a sibling or other young ‘un) hadn’t been able to pronounce Felicia and shortened it to Flea. And then I assumed “the good Flea” was meant as an opposition to “the bad fleas” that dogs usually deal with. Thought it was your blogging nickname and didn’t realize you go by Flea all the time. I think it’s adorable! Just like that pic of you as a little Flea!

    My older sister is name Linda. When I was little I couldn’t say that (yeah, I was not the smartest kid I guess…) so I called her Dana. (Not DANE-ah like you’d normally pronounce that, but DAN-ah.) It stuck – but only within my family. She never started going by it.
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted..No Mirth Today – The Worst Walk I Ever TookMy Profile

    • Ooo! I like Dana! Like Danno? Book ’em, Danno!

      Yes, I go by Flea 24/7. It’s an awesome name. Little old ladies really struggle with it, though. They refuse to call me anything but Felicia. Sad. And honestly, I only go by the “Good” Flea because, when I was choosing a personal blog title, fleabyte was taken (that’s been my email moniker for 20 years). It took a bit to come up with the Good Flea, and I thought it might be a bit pretentious at first. But I grew into it. Heh.
      Flea recently posted..How the Good Flea Got Her NameMy Profile

  4. It’s interesting to hear how you got your nickname. I’ve heard the name Nat loads of times and never associated it with gnat, but I guess I’d have mad that connection faster with a Flea around!

  5. i always wondered abt the name Flea. i like the story abt your younger brother that could not pronounce Felecia.

    • Or for Nathan. Some of his friends call him Nate. I’ve never known anyone to call him Nat. That works for me, though he’d probably like it, if only because Nat King Cole is one of his favorite performers.

  6. A Flea and a Nat? Bwahaha. I actually love that but can certainly appreciate the foresight in not choosing it. Sounds like such a ‘pawsome’ family with smiles flowing freely!

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