I was supposed to be a boy. My mother was convinced I was going to be a boy. She and Dad had decided that I would be named Jay Edward since they liked Jay and Edward was my father’s name.
Several days before I was born, my mother decided that she needed to have a girl’s name in reserve. She suggested Penelope to my father. My understanding is that Dad was not overly thrilled with the choice. Since Mom was on a P-kick for girls, they reviewed names beginning with P and came up with Pamela. My mother did not want to offend either grandmother by naming me either Anna or Marie. Pam would be a fine nickname, but Pammie was forbidden in the house.
My middle name came from my great-grandmother, Esther, who died 5 years before I was born. I have spent my entire life with only a middle initial in my legal name because Esther sounded far too old fashioned. However, as I came to know my great-grandmother through her diary and poems, I have been less reticent about voicing my middle name.
I am Pamela Esther, as I was always reminded when I misbehaved. Add a T to my initials and I was PEST, an apt designation even today.