a dave by any other name is not a david

February 16, 2013

Dave vs. David

I only went to a parochial school for one year of my life… St. Josephs. 1st grade. I really can’t imagine what an additional 11 years might’ve done to my fragile sensibilities.

Ms. Jillek was my teacher and she was a nun-in-training. A nun-to-be. A sister-in-the making. (Excuse my lack of knowledge of such things. I am sure there is some sort of appropriate Catholic terminology I am unaware of.)

We all have those tiny YouTube length clips built into our memory banks that we store for one reason or another. Random snapshots, some more meaningful than others; however, I distinctly remember the day my Mom took me to meet my new teacher.

I knew it was going to be a bad match for one very simple reason… Ms. Jillek told me the class already had “a David” so from this point forward I would go by… Dave. Because, you know… there couldn’t be two Davids.

Ms. Jillek disliked me for some reason.

One day she was super losing her fucking mind and had us all put our heads on our desk. (Do teachers still do this?) She even turned off the lights. I felt really bad for her so instead of returning to my desk I thought I would be useful and clean up the play area. I know this sounds far-fetched, but I really remember thinking I was doing the right thing. Little did I know Ms. Cranky Pants was putting a check mark next to my name on the black board for every minute I was cleaning up, i.e. each check mark equated to a minute I had to stay after school.

Bitch! I was just trying to help!

I also remember a Q&A session in which each student would declare their name and then Ms. Jillek would confirm whether or not said name was in the bible. I am not making this up. The other David in the class was delighted to find out that his name was in the bible–he was a king! Sadly, according to Ms. Jillek, there was no mention of any Dave; although, I would wager there was at least one Dave back then and that he made sandals for everyone. “Dave, the sandal guy.”

I really don’t have anything against Dave’s, at all. It’s just… I am not a Dave. In fact, Dave’s are great. I admire Dave’s. I would love nothing more than to be a Dave. I just don’t want to be confused with a Dave because I identify as a David. And hence this plea.

Allow me to explain.

Consider the following…

It’s not, “The David Matthews Band”. Can you imagine if Cheech and Chong had written, “David’s not here man!”, followed by, “No man, it’s me, David, open up.” It doesn’t work. David Chapelle? No, clearly it’s Dave Chapelle. Dave Bowie? No way. Is it the Star of Dave? No it is not. Was Charles Dickens’ eighth novel entitled Dave Copperfield? No. (Furthermore, no one wants to see Dave Copperfield perform magic.) Dave and Buster’s is where you go to drink shitty beer while your kids play video games. David and Buster’s is the exclusive social club the cast of Gossip Girl visits to drink scotch and discuss their trust funds. Can you imagine what a wedding gown from Dave’s Bridal would look like? Someone back me up on this one… Dave Beckham sounds infinitely less sexy than David Beckham, amirite? “Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Velvet Jazz Lounge! Tonight! The Dave Beckham Experience!” But, Dave Grohl works for some reason–he’s clearly a Dave. See? SEE?!

There are a few D’s that swing both ways; Dave/David Letterman comes to mind. (It’s specious, at best, to think that I would fall into this category.)

Common Dave Traits

Dave is awesome. Dave is super chill and laid back. Dave can get you weed. Dave can reassemble your carburetor. Dave can get you +1 to the show. It’s hard not to like Dave. Dave hooks up with people he shouldn’t be able to hook up with. Dave plays shortstop on a coed softball team. Dave creates Memes in Microsoft Paint (that to date has over 200,000,000 views–not that he cares). Dave has a dog named Bucky. Dave is always late. Despite the registration on Dave’s Jeep being two years past due he doesn’t get a ticket when pulled over. Dave never feels guilty for sleeping in until noon–on a Tuesday. Oh, so you don’t think that couch is going to fit through the door? Dave is pretty sure it can, and it will and it does. Dave is that guy that will go out of his way to push some random person’s stuck car. Dave will eat or drink anything, especially if it’s offered, and free. Dave is fine wearing Hawaiian shirts and cut off jean shorts–comfort first.

This is a true story, probably: Dave belches loudly in a restaurant. Sitting behind him is a woman who is clearly upset by this and says, “excuse me, that was disgusting” to which Dave replies, “but that was from my soul!” He ends up taking her home.

Jobs that suit Dave: professional snowboarder, fire fighter, spelunking/scuba/surfing instructor, drummer, test pilot, UPS guy, stand-up comic, voice-over talent for pick-up truck commercials and/or car dealership magnate, Redbull sponsored extreme athlete.

Shit Dave says: “Good eye! Take your pitch!”, “Two slices of cheese and a Pepsi, please”, “Can I get more vocals in the drum monitor?”, “See, the problem here is your rotors”, “Whatever you do don’t use your wrists to break your fall”, “There’s never been a better time to drive a Dodge Ram Crew Cab!”, “I didn’t think I was going to hit Mach 3, but then BAM! I hit Mach 3!”

Common David Traits (and yes I am aware this is mild projection, yet another David trait)

Think of David as being Dave’s more uptight brother. David will criticize your choice of font (that you use for email). David will explain why Finnish isn’t really a Scandinavian language. David is very concerned about everything all of the time. David eats poultry, but not duck because “ducks are cute”. David will cook you breakfast in bed–in courses… and don’t you dare salt your food–it’s perfectly prepared. David is of the artistic temperament. In general, David is a moody motherfucker, but also very sensitive and empathic. David is not of the moment instead fluxing between the muck of the past and the terror of the future. David will design your wedding invitation. He will also design name cards for every dish made at Thanksgiving. David has style and thinks out every detail and will point them out just in case you didn’t notice.

This is a true story, definitely: David is at a hotel bar and a woman asks him if he’s gay. David replies, “I’m married,” to which she responds, “to a man?”

Jobs that suit David: Pitchfork critic, designer, curator, ballroom dance instructor, tortured poet, entertainment director, vineyard mogul, performance artist, Mayor of Portland.

Shit David says: “I can’t sleep without the sound of a fan.”, “Do you have Pellegrino? No? Then nothing.”, “Salut! Qu’est-ce que tu fais ce soir?”, “I can’t work with all of these distractions!”, “This is so derivative of the 90’s. Is there nothing original?”, “You absolutely have to come to the small batch distillery tour I set up.”

The Dave/David paradox

Interestingly, a Dave or David’s preferred nomenclature is in direct opposition to which variant is used by someone in a moment of disagreement or annoyance. As a David, I can expect someone I’ve pissed off to call me Dave. You know what? Fuck that! I just realized it doesn’t work that way for Dave’s. A Dave is a Dave in any circumstance. This is what sucks, Dave’s get upgraded to David when they do something exceptional. I can only expect to be downgraded, really.

This is all making sense suddenly.

Lest us forget…

And then, sigh, there’s Davy/Davey/Davie. But let’s be honest… unless you’re made of play dough, or under the age of ten, no one should ever be calling you Davey. Unless, of course it’s being used in context to a situation where it might be endearing. For example, your significant other overhears you tell your mom how much you loved the flannel cowboy pajamas she made you for Christmas.

“Awww…. Davie! That was very sweet.”

In this instance, and only in this instance, is it acceptable.

In closing

It’s very interesting who, by nature, decides to call me Dave or David. In a very strange way those that call me Dave–embody Dave characteristics. Those that call me David tend to be more David-like. It’s almost like a weird self-referential estimation of how a person identifies themselves determines whether I am called Dave or David. In this case it has little to do with me, unless of course I’m being an asshole to someone that identifies with the David persona.

So people, put down the mirror. For me, it’s always David. Unless cowboy fringe pajamas are involved.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Dale Cruse February 16, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Heather & I riff on your name all the time, but never your first name.

    Anyway, we shouldn’t expect this site’s URL to change to

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado February 16, 2013 at 1:30 am

      I’m not going to lie, Mrs. and Mrs. ZV is probably my favorite. Also, ugh, do I really register

  • Avatar
    Reply Joanna February 16, 2013 at 2:22 am

    I definitely started to think about the “Common Dave the Tornado Traits”/ “Shit Dave the Tornado Says” and “Common David the Tornado Traits”/ “Shit David the Tornado Says” lists… haha. This post made me laugh, as I have known so many Daves and Davids, and one who bounced back and forth between the two names, not being able to decide on which to be called.

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado February 16, 2013 at 3:29 am

      Maybe I need to start a new twitter… shit tornadoes say? Just omit the Dave/David altogether. “Did I just hit F5 or is this page loading really slow?”

  • Avatar
    Reply Robert Voll February 16, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Funny stuff … usual. How can you remember all of those goofy stories from the early years ?? Of course, you did omit that period of time that you bypased your name altogether and took the name of D.Robert Voll. That must have been during that transition year when you couldn’t decide who you were ………… 🙂

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado February 16, 2013 at 3:27 am

      That’s right! haha I forgot about that. Must’ve been in college? And yeah, it’s strange–those odd nuggets and tidbits our brains decide to store.

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