I remember the first time it happened. We were at Baskin Robbins, placing an order for a cake, and my mom gave her last name as Wisner. I stared at her, confused. Wisner is a fine name. It just doesn't happen to be ours.
My last name is Wiener -- synonyms of which have been much punned about since Representative Anthony Weiner got caught tweeting with his pants down. Perhaps I'm biased, but I suspect much of this story's sensation has been due, not to Weiner's inappropriate actions, but to his last name.
As Weinergate finally draws to a close, I'd like to tell you how I came to feel proud of my name. It wasn't always so.
At Bullis Elementary in Los Altos, my classmates seized upon my name's phallic meaning. They laughed, they taunted, they rhymed it with neener, neener, neener. My dad suggested telling them Oscar Meyer was my grandfather. The tactic failed.
Substitute teachers tried calling me "Whiner" -- as if that could protect me.