I was a teenager when Elvis Presley died. I remember the day I heard the news. The sun shone between my gaudy orange curtains, onto my bed where I had thrown myself, after a trying day at school, and I thought, “Wow! Elvis Presley is dead!” Not that I felt very sad or anything. The big headline news didn’t really affect me that way. I wasn’t an Elvis fan. He was just someone famous. But still... I rolled the news around in my mind, and concluded that fame doesn't protect anyone from death.
So Elvis died and was buried, and that might have been the end of Elvis Presley, as far as I was concerned. Except it wasn’t. A year or so later, we moved house, I went to a new school and met my own Elvis: Andy Elvis. By the time we graduated I knew one day I was going to be an Elvis too. What I didn't know was how closely Elvis Presley was going to follow me through all the years of our married life.
“Pardon? How do you spell that?”
“Elvis. E.L.V.I.S. You know, like Elvis Presley.”
“Any relation to Elvis Presley?” someone asks with a grin.
“Sue Elvis? Is that your real name?”
The other day my application to join an online forum for Catholic writers was rejected. I sat staring at the rejection email feeling a little hurt and sorry for myself. I tried to understand why I wasn’t wanted. I’d provided too little information about myself, apparently, but what can one say in 100 characters? I must have mentioned my name. Did the moderator not believe it was my real name? Did she think it was made up and I am a troll or spammer, trying to worm my way into the group?
These thoughts started me thinking about pen names. Wouldn’t 'Sue Elvis' make a wonderful pseudonym? It’s short and catchy and of course, has that famous connection. I think if I am ever famous I will use the name Sue Elvis. And if I am never to be well known, I will still use it. It’s my name.
“Sue Elvis is dead.” I guess the day will arrive when someone will say those words. Famous or not, we will all eventually meet in the cemetery. Hopefully, we’ll all meet in Heaven too.
“Hi, I’m Sue Elvis.”
“I’m Elvis Presley.”
I don’t suppose we’ll chat about best selling songs or books or blogs. By that time, it won’t matter much if we’d been famous on earth or not. Elvis Presley and I will meet on equal terms. Of course we’ll still have the name connection.
Last week Andy and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. I’ve been Sue Elvis for thirty whole years. That’s a long time. Thirty years of being married to my best friend. Thirty years of love and blessings. Thirty years of Elvis Presley comments.
Becoming an Elvis? Acquiring the Elvis Presley connection? Marrying Andy? It was the best thing I ever did.
Happy Anniversary, Andy Elvis.
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