Every name has a story. I remember it as though is was yesterday...the day Boomer (who's real name is Mike) became forever Boomer to me.
It was summer, 1997, about 6-weeks into our courtship. We long ago agreed we never really "dated." We both knew, from moment one, we were beyond dating. That's a story for next time.
I met Steve (not his real name), an old friend of Boomer's who was visiting from Detroit (where Boomer is from), for the first time the day we went to Wrigley Field in Chicago for a Cub game. As we jaywalked across Sheffield Ave. toward the stadium, Steve asked me, "Shannon, do you want to know what Mike's nickname was in high school?" "Of course I do," instantly left my mouth. "It was Boomer," he said while highlighting that they played high school football together, and where the name generated. With that I turned to Mike, saw the roll in his eyes of mild embarrassment, and proclaimed, "Done! That's it. I'm calling you Boomer from now on."
My brother, Shawn, and I share the same initials - S.M.O. He's Shawn Michael. I'm Shannon Maureen and 2 1/2 years older. You'd be hard-pressed to come up with two more blatantly obvious Irish names if you tried. Something our parents took great pride in creating, the names mind you, the jury may still be out on us. When we were babies and toddlers, our maternal grandfather lovingly called us SMO #1 and SMO #2. An homage to Dr. Seuss? Perhaps.
Boomer and I met at work. I always had a habit of signing hand-written notes or email correspondence with my initials. When I shared with Boomer the Dr. Seuss-inspired naming story, it stuck for him, just as Boomer did with me.
I am SMO. He is Boomer. Every card, note, letter, email, text, you name it, there we are, Boomer and SMO. That's who we are - to each other - always. So much so, that we included them in our marriage vows. Shannon and Mike for the legality; SMO and Boomer for the heart and soul. The exceptions are few. If you were to ask him, he'd jokingly tell you that the only time I ever called him Mike was when I was mad at him or he was in trouble. Which, for the record, wasn't very often.