Meta was the name of the tall brown-haired girl behind the counter at Rite-Aid. My daughter and her friends sort of adopted this awkward girl. At age 15, adventure and subterranean delights can be found in the color-bursting aisles of Rite Aide.

The cosmetic aisle TheCosmeticAisle held special sway, and the tall stoic girl behind the near-by cash register provided an added blessing. At first alarms denoted in my head when I heard HRD describe their brief encounters with Meta.

“You aren’t making fun of her, are you?” I said. I mean, that wouldn’t have been like HRD but I knew the temptation to build ones’ self up in a group by tearing little holes into those who might stand alone.

“Oh no no no!” she said, “We like Meta!”

When I say they “sort of adopted” her I mean they adopted the project of Meta, which was a fleeting occupation and mostly consisted of trying to engage Meta in conversation when the girls made a purchase. During these time of drug-store runs with her friends I began to notice that when I happened in with my daughter Meta reacted with a little more warmth, her face actually brightened a little.

Then it ended. HRD made new friends, she grew up a little and getting lost in the make-up aisle lost its magic. Meta quit her drug store job, but before she did I also engaged her in conversation. I asked her about her name, which was what drew all of us to her in the first place.

“It’s pronounced Meta (rhymes with Cheetah)” she said. It was Greek, as was she. All of us had been calling her Meta (rhymes with sweata – (that’s Boston-speak for sweater.))

Dang it! I liked our pronunciation so much betta. It’s OK though. I still see Meta around, pushing a baby carriage now. HRD is a country’s width away and Lord God Almighty Thank You Jesus Ron Artest changed his name.

He, after a lot of thought changed his name to Metta World Peace. His new last name is not very inspiring, but I guess that’s what he was going for. Oh well, I love his new first name. Metta. How can anyone except his mother begrudge him that? And maybe she doesn’t, I have no idea.

Metta reminds me of Meta and that time of hopeful innocence when being 15 and released into the drugstore with dollars from mom or babysitting could buy a dream. Metta reminds me also that you can be a weirdo in this world and still make your way. Maybe weirdos make the best way and the rest of you us follow their footprints.

Maybe Ron Artest wasn’t looking for publicity but really wanted to inspire people all over the world with his name change. He said that. Yes he did!

Which brings me to the fact that I have decided to also change my name. I will henceforth be known as “Adult Acne Survivor.” It’s inspirational for sure and publicizes the new support group I’m forming. But that is another post.


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