I’ve often thought about changing my domain name. And Twitter name. And tumblr. And Instagram. Yikes. Okay, all of them. There are a zillion variations of Return to Sender I could use for any of them – so why not make the sensible switch? Well, I’m attached to tabayag. We’ve been together since I first got AOL on our Packard Bell computer and used to dial-up to go chat for hours in AOL Kids Chatrooms. We’ve been together since that voice saying, “You’ve Got Mail!” used to give me chills – IT COULD BE ONE OF MY ONLINE PENPALS.
So, what the hell is a “tabayag?”
This question has been posed to me many, many times in my life and usually elicits a slightly embarrassed giggle of delight from me. And everyone always pronounces it in various ways:
I can understand all the confusion – I pronounce it tab-uh-yag. Though when I slur it together quickly it definitely comes about tab-buh-yag. Enough on pronunciation – we’ve solved that mystery. Here comes the embarrassing part of exactly what tabayag is. I wish I could say it is something really profound or poetic. I wish it had some historical or familial ties…really I wish it had any story other than the one I am about to tell you. So here it goes.
When I was a kid there was a period of time where I had a bird as a pet. Let that sink in. (The first time my friend Joan heard this news I believe she screamed…because you know, bird people are weird.) He was a parakeet. And had a cool cage, was super colorful, and for a while I thought he was really neat…one could say the cat’s meow. But I had a hard time coming up with a name for said bird. And thus the genius of tabayag was born:
Turqouise And Blue And Yellow And Green
You see what I did there? I was oh so clever and took the first letters of all my little parakeet’s colors to create his ever-so-creative name. AND THEN FOR REASONS UNKNOWN I also made that my AOL screen name. And continued to do that for my entire life thus far. It’s never, ever taken. So I’m tabayag everywhere. As I was recounting this tale to someone recently I realized that I, Sarah, have been tabayag since I was 12 years old. I’ve been tabayag for more of my life than not. And after I uttered those words I realized, I don’t want to change my domain or my tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram. Maybe it’s weird, may it’s difficult (or impossible) to pronounce, and maybe it’s altogether completely forgettable to anyone trying to remember how to get to my blog and completely counterintuitive to every single thing I’ve read about “branding”- but it’s me. And if I can hold on to that silly, weird, bird owning 12-year-old girl, I will for as long as possible.