Humans categorize, label and name everything and everybody. The question, "Who are you?" is generally answered with our given name. Names help give us sense of who we are. I was thinking about that because recently someone asked if my name was Gunnar or Neil. "Which one are you?" Well, I think of myself as Gunnar, but even that is gray. I was called Gunner with an E (I think) by everybody in my world until I entered school. My mother told me that at school they would be calling me Neil. This was a bit of a shock, as Neil Berg was my grandfather. I was Gunner. Everybody knew that.
For years I lived parallel lives, Neil in the classroom, Gunner on the playground. In high school my friends, obvious tired of dealing with it, just called me Berg. To this day my brother, two years my junior, still calls me Berg. Later on at work some people called me Neil, others who knew me better, Berg or Gunner.
A few years ago people started shooting each other. A lot. And with the internet I started getting spam and emails that made assumptions about me shooting - being a Gunner. It suddenly seemed like a more violent name than I was comfortable with. It wasn't so much a name as a label. I decided as it was an unlisted name anyway, I could spell it anyway I chose to. I became Gunnar. I became Gunnar with an A.
Recently I noticed on Facebook when Lorna made references to me she still stuck with Gunner. The old Gunner. I thought, well if she prefers to be married to Gunner, I had better be Gunner. I changed everything online, Facebook, Gmail, Google, everything. As soon as she noticed it she informed me that she much preferred to sleep with Gunnar. I may be confused about my identity, but I ain't stupid. I'm Gunnar again.