More of TR or "A Different Version"



Mr/Mrs. Toasmaster - For my ice breaker topic, it was suggested to talk about myself, but, of course that could take many hours & not 3 to 4 minutes allowed, so allow me to share with you the origin of the name that I use. TR Johnson.

It really started when I was born, my mother did not (my family guessed) really know how to spell Theresa, so the name on my birth certificate was Terry Mae Richardson, but everyone always called me Theresa (now I do not and never liked my middle name Mae and just always ignored that)….

Than in I guess about the 3rd or 4th grade, my Teacher, Mr. Booker, who I will never ever forget, would not call me Theresa. Mr. Booker said the proper pronounciation of my name was Theresa because I spelled it with an “H) ;Theresa and not Teresa.

Mr. Booker and I did not get along very well, because for one he did not pronounce my name correctly (in my eyes) and also because he always made me sit at the end of the table on his right side during lunch and he always ate boiled chicken, which was very un appealing to a young child as it had no color, which could explain why I cannot eat boiled chicken today.

My closest friend at the time, Horace, who allowed people to call him sweet polly as a nickname started making fun of how Mr. Booker pronounced my name. He would tease me pronouncing it the way Mr. Booker did (Tharessa – Thareassa) and I would get mad with him, so after a while Sweet Polly started calling me TR. My maiden name was Richardson, so TR stood for Theresa Richardson. Sweet Polly called me TR so often that other classmates started called me TR as well and it stuck, however Mr. Booker continued to call me Theresa, and he had a very thick heavy voice so it always sounded like Tharessa.

Anyway, TR stayed with me for a while all through high school and beyond for a few years. Sweet Polly and I remained close friends, but as we grew older and got involved with other people and things, we drifted apart, but TR remained with me and a lot of people who knew me. (as a side bar, I am truly sorry that Sweet Polly and I drifted apart, because he was a very good friend. So, if you ever come across Sweet Polly, let him know that TR is looking for him);

Years later, after several jobs and college and so on, I decided to embark on a career in real estate because I thought I would be good with people and I thought it would be good to help people with something as important as their housing. Anyway I continued to go by TR. In the meantime, I corrected my birth certificate to read Theresa (with an H) instead of Terry, but that is another story.

Anyway, I used TR in my real estate career from day one. My current Broker, T. J. Locke (a male using initials – well), likes to tell people my name by saying “capital T and capital R with no spaces and no periods) It is interesting that most people never question why the use of TR, when I am questioned, it is more often from men than women. A lot of men will say something like “what is your real name”, and I usually respond TR, is what I go by, but they usually will keep at it, sometimes (depending on the situation) they will play the guessing game. They will say something like oh,“I bet it’s this or that, because you look like a this, or that and once in a while they may guess correctly and sometimes I will say will say Theresa). Sometimes, I’ll tell them sometime I won’t as it depends on the mood I may be in at the time and or the situation.

OK, so usually if I say, well, the name on my birth certificate is Theresa, they will usually do or say several things, look at me in a sad manner, may cross their arms and say, well, well, Theresa is a pretty name, and it suits you. or They say, it is unusal to see a woman use initials, mostly men use initials, They seem to think that I don’t like Theresa or that I think it is an ugly name, which is why I use TR, and sometimes they (I guess being funny) will start to call me Theresa. Maybe we have been working together for a while calling me TR, but now, and now they use my name a lot, they’ll call me Theresa, maybe thinking it bothers me, and normally I’ll respond something like, TR, Theresa – it doesn’t matter what you call me, I’ll respond..

Very seldom will a female asked me about the use of TR, sometimes they will comment that it is pretty often, they’ll say “I like it”, and maybe pronounce it like the crown (Tiara), but most often women will accept it and move on with the matter at hand, but men seem to have to investigate, I often wonder why? (again, another story). In my real estate career, it has been as asset because a lot of time, I get to deal with people and they do not know whether they are dealing with a man or a woman (until it’s too late – meaning they know I can handle the job. My mail is normally addressed to Mr. Johnson and phone calls are to Mr. Johnson until they either meet or speak directly with me...) In my intimate circle of friends, most call me TR, however my mother has never called me TR, she calls me Resa, but she responds when others call me TR. My brother and 2 sisters, however, they will at times call me TR, especially one of my sisters. My now significant other will call me Theresa if he thinks I’m not listening to him, because he thinks that will get my attention; it does. In fact I am so use to responding to TR that once in a while if someone calls me Theresa it may make me hesitate for a moment, than I realize, OH, that me. I have basically adopted TR, and use it on my checks, my real estate license and other documents, I sign my name that way, very seldom do I use Theresa at all, in fact when I got my divorce 2 years ago, and the Judge asked if I wanted to take back my maiden name there was never even a thought of going back to Theresa Richardson, because then I would not be able to use TR Johnson, so I kept Johnson so it would continue to work with TR. I like using TR, not because I do not like Theresa or Tharessa, as Mr. Booker would say, or that I’m ashamed of it or that I don’t think it is a beautiful name, because it is. I will continue using TR because a special friend thought it suited me and because of that it makes me feel unique; and I think that all of us want to feel special about ourselves. So, now you know the origin of TR,

Mr/Mrs. Toastmaster.


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