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Marsha Lee

I smiled to myself as I read my comments this morning.  One of my younger new blogging friends called me “Ms. Lee”.  A colleague asked me if I was using my maiden name for my blog.

When I was a child, and I was in major, major trouble my parents would address me using my middle name, Lee.  It had very bad, traumatic even, connotations to me.

“Marsha LEE, you get in here RIGHT NOW!”

To make it worse my father’s name was Richard Lee, (nicknamed Dick – what could be worse than to have a dad named Dick?) and his whiny mother – Tressie Lee.  I cringed and burned with anger when my dad would comment that I reminded him of HIS mother!  How could he even think we were related?  I was NOT like her ONE LITTLE BIT.  (I’m still not!)  Well maybe a little – I do keep a tidy, though not antiseptic house, and I don’t have any painting talent that I know about.  Tressie Lee decorated her house with paint by number paintings she had painted.

“Mom, how could you name me Marsha Lee?” I asked on more than one occasion.

“I always wanted to name you Marsha Lynn, but your FATHER wanted to call you Marsha Lee, so we named you after him.  I could have been worse.  You could have been named after your grandmothers and been Golda Tressie.”

Thanks goodness for small favors.

So why would I use the name at all in a blog for the WHOLE world to see? Only a VERY few people have ever called me Marsha Lee, and because they have been special in my life, my name has taken on a happy meaning.

Do you remember when you were embarrassed by your parents?  My dad sang in the car even when I had a friend with me, AND he made up songs, AND they were SO STUPID.  (Guess what I do?)  My mother went to church with no nylons on.  Ewww.  (Yeah, I do that, too).  My dad died when I was only 37, and I never got over being embarrassed by him.  I worked hard at appreciating him for the things he did well, but I never liked him.  I hated being Marsha Lee anything, but there it was.

One day my former boss, Anna Leon, called me Marsha Lee, pronounced MAR cha LEEEEE, especially when I would do something particularly well or say something that struck her funny.  Soon, she always called me Marsha Lee.

I now use the name Marsha Lee in my blog because I love the VERY few people who have called me Marsha Lee.  It is a secret sign to myself of my emotional health and acceptance of myself for being completely who I am including the daughter of Richard Lee and granddaughter of Tressie Lee.

I am Marsha Lee.

Don’t for get to check your SPAM folder for my comments!!!  Thanks for reading! 🙂

12 replies »

  1. I did check my spam folder and there you were again, I think you need to have words with wordpress. It was even a reply to a reply, so silly.
    My father used to call me AnnieLea, mixing my name up. I sort of liked it, that he had a pet name for me. He was such a horrible person who thought so little of us, that for him to have even thought of that is quite surprising. I would never allow anyone to call me that now.
    I love your story, thank you.


  2. Thank you so much, Marsha! I’m flattered by your recognition. It has been fun and rewarding to share and connect with you!


  3. When people would talk about their parents, I would think how lucky they where. Then after years of self examining I discovered that not every family was “Ozzie and Harriet” or “ the Walton’s”. Excepting what it WAS and moving on is healthier. You ladies are good people, happy to be blogging with you both.


    • When I was still a teen one of my mom’s friends basically told me to do just that. Playing the blame game doesn’t help.


  4. It’s funny. I always assumed Lee was your middle name. In the deep south, a “double name” was almost a requirement when naming a girl. It was also required that the name be used exclusively if there was trouble. Whether you like it or not, the cadence of your name becomes part of who you are. Great post.


    • Thanks Amy. It fits me now, and I like it. One of my friends who is from the deep south is one who called me that.


  5. Golda Tressie?? In fits of laughter-glad you were spared! Thank goodness I never plan to have children-if I had a daughter I am afraid I would name her Mimfy Davis Faulkner (wouldn’t be able to help myself). A son would be Hargo Grenfeld Faulkner! Luckily, such a tragedy will never come to be. Wonderful read; missed your posts so much. I am grateful that both my parents named me poetically (Autumn Jade). I must say I love the sound of “Marsha Lee”. Too groovy, cheers,



    • I might have also been Tressie Harriette, or Harriette Lee. Many possibilities just from those two ladies. I didn’t have any children on whom to experiment either. I always was pretty dull with names -Kathryn Lynn or Katrina. I didn’t have any boys names picked out. I just knew it wouldn’t be Dennis. Autumn Jade IS poetic. It fits you.


      • Harriette Lee sounds nice, but I do prefer Marsha Lee. 😀 Oh thank you! I love it. I adore me brother’s as well, Brandon Joseph Franz, I just love that! I am grateful neither of my parents seemed even remotely similar to the relatives. My not-so-grand grandfather was named John E, literally, and was called as such. “Hello, John (slight pause) E.” He decided to name his second daughter (I guess his wife had not protesting voice) Kelley, with the “ey” after the daughter of the Mobil gas station owner, where he worked. It read on a red sign at the gas station, “Kelley’s Market” in white cursive lettering. Real delight….Ulgh. Then his marital partner, Mavis. How my mum erupted from them, I know not. She was very Irish, poetic, and hilarious. They were not. The parents reminded me of walking gravestones, I fear. John E resembled that Grouch from Sesame Street, and Mavis looks like someone you’d imagine would chomp broken bottles for breakfast (as P.G. Wodehouse would say.) She’s extremely fond of diamonds. The husband often performed fake falls (oh no, I inherited that…) for sympathy. They did not do too badly on me mum’s name, however, I just adore it, Jodi Cathlene. She was oh so grand. You would have adored her. She had the magical ability with animals, too, wolves would come running to her, dragonflies bombilated about her, and butterflies literally landed on her often. On top of that, absolutely hilarious. One time she picked me up from school. We were meandering down the hall, trying to escape, sharing jokes, laughing raucously, and a hall-aid accosted us, “GIRLS! You are supposed to be in the auditorium, not prowling the halls goofing off!” Oh it was too funny to watch me mum tell the uptight hall-aid off, in her kind and cajoling manner, so that the embarrassed woman too was walking away with laughter. Just the kind of person she was, funny, and always kind. And then Sir, he’s quite the squirrel (and very fond of squirrels). I am glad he is not named Dick. I must say, that is a very unpleasant name to have for a father indeed, I am sorry lass. He is Stephen, but Yoda, Sire, or Sir will also do. He is the sort of bloke that will let daughters drag him into all kinds of harrowing and terrifying misadventures, will walk cats and rabbits freely in public, and will sprawl on the ground with squirrels chomping peanuts by his visage. He also loves to pet goats. He calls them goaties. His mother’s name is Hester, another name I’m glad not to be adhered to. Nikolo was his father. He fills with terror if you sing, “Niiiiikkkoooollloooo” like in the film “An Affair to Remember”. Ouch…Hester Mavis Faulkner. I’d be chucking in the bucks to change that name, I fear. Right….I “babbled” waaaay too long here.





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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