I don’t want to bore you with the details, but I recently had to change my personal e-mail address. For years, I was lucky to have an address that was simply my first initial and last name. But when I went to create a new account, it was already taken -- by my nephew, as we share the same first initial and last name. (Shouldn't I have dibs on that, by the way? After all, I was here first!) In any case, I had to settle for an address using my first and middle initial. B.S. Yes, that’s right, my name is Bruce Steven. B.S. I guess it could be worse. I could be B.O. But when I was growing up, back when “SHIT” was still a curse word, BS weren’t the initials of choice. Back then, if you said someone was full of BS, well, thems was fightin' words!
Making matters worse was the briefcase my father got for both me and my brother when I was in 5th grade. It was bad enough it looked like something an accountant would carry to an IRS audit. It even had locks on it! I was in 5th grade, for god sake -- was someone going to steal my book report!? But the worst part were the gold initials that were embossed on it. There they were, for all my classmates to see and make fun of. I still have that briefcase. (Ironically, it is now filled with tax returns from years past. Could my father have been that forward-thinking?)
All these years later, I no longer feel the stigma of my initials, but when I notified contacts about my new e-mail address, it was like I was in 5th grade all over again. E-mailer after e-mailer couldn't resist the opportunity to poke some fun. “BS. How appropriate!” said one. “Does BS stand for BS?” asked another. “Nice initials. Confirms what I always knew about you,” still another shared. All this renewed fuss over my initials made me realize something that never dawned on me before: they were really yet another Middle Child slight! Think about it. I got to be BS, but what are my older brother’s initials? M.D!! You heard me -- M.D!! Really, Mom and Dad!? Really?? I suppose you could try and put a positive spin on it. You could argue I was given a premature college degree. But I’d still rather be a doctor.