I spent a week over the Thanksgiving holiday in South Carolina, visiting Greg’s parents. We had a really nice time, which concluded with me seeing his mom’s foot doctor so I could get a second opinion on my ankle. The doc told me I’m deformed and possibly have bursitis, but I’m not going to get into that today. What I am going to talk about is the fact that the doctor’s office gave me a new Southern name!
When I was finished with my exam, I was printed out a very thorough and extensive note to take back to my original doctor. I was very impressed with the information provided in the note, but my eyes were immediately drawn to the awesome spelling of my last name. Schalz was a new one for me, and I was giddy over how effortlessly Southern it sounded as it rolled off my tongue: sh-ah-lz.
Having a German last name with a vowel that doesn’t follow the traditional short or long sound, and consonants that are never, ever combined together in common English, my surname of Schatz has been butchered for me my entire life. It is pronounced shots, which has recently made LMFAO’s “Shots” my personal theme song. But to get back to my point, I’ve been called anything ranging from Schwartz to Schultz, and my personal favorite: Shats. As in, the past tense, plural or possessive form of shits. (And by favorite, I mean that I cringe every time I hear it.) My poor, beautiful last name, which German natives envy due to its use as a term of endearment in Germany, very often gets reduced to the act of pooping.
My favorite twist of my last name, however, is Schatzy. For some reason, those that know the correct pronunciation, like to add that cute little “y” at the end for a fun nickname. When I was a senior in high school, and my brother Robert was a freshman, he gained the nickname Schatzy from his baseball team. For the rest of my senior year, I was known as “Schatzy’s Sister.” Despite attending that school for four years, and only gaining recognition due to my little, freshmanbrother, I liked it. Ten years later, it made me happy when one of my co-workers took it upon himself to call me Schatzy. Take that, Robert! They knew you as Schatzy’s Brother!
Regardless of having various versions of my last name presented to me, it’s been a source of entertainment my entire life. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, something like Schalz shows up to prove me wrong.