One day a year, it's Trading Names day! You've waited all year for this. Some of you enjoy it, some of you fear it, some are annoyed by it; there are many reactions, actually.
But even if you don't like it, it's
only one day a year. And most people love it.
The deal is, on that day, you trade
your name with someone else. Typically this is done at work, because that's where most of us spend most of our time. But it can be at school, at home, wherever you like.
You can agree with someone to trade your name with his or hers, or you can find someone randomly; some offices just have everyone line up and everyone takes the name of the person on their left.
You don't trade anything else. You keep your face, your fingerprints,
your Social Security number, your
phone number, your address, your
car keys, your family and friends,
your self. You are still you. That's the point: you are not your name, and one day a year this exercise frees everyone from the assumptions built into his or her name, as well as the expectations he or she has about everyone else from their names.
Typically the strange feeling of having and using and being called by
another name, passes in just an hour or so. In fact, there's another brief period of feeling strange the next day, when you go back to using your usual name.
For a day you're the same person, just
with a different name. It's not
without precedent: people have nicknames, pet names; lots of us are
called by one name at home, another
at work, yet another by old friends.
The magic of Trading Names day is
just that, for one day, you have a
name that you've never been called
Through this harmless fun, everyone gets to realize that they
are not their name.