Aug 29

Never Trust a Man with Two First Names.


Never Trust a Man with Two First Names

“Never trust a man with two first names.”  This is usually what I hear when I introduce myself.  What does this mean?  I’m still trying to figure it out.

My last name is Mike, first name David.  This has been a source of confusion my whole life. Who has Mike for a last name anyways?

It’s kind of unique, kind of weird.

Great-Grandpa Mike
Great-Grandpa Mike

My Great-Grandfather, Giuseppe Antonio Michele, made the decision to leave Italy to make a better life for himself here in America.

As is the case with many immigrants, the agent who processed him either could not understand his accent, or just wanted to Americanize his name and changed it to, Joseph Anthony Mike.

His decision to move here, not only increased our quality of life but, also gave us the opportunity to play the name game.


When I was younger I tried to tell people that our last name was really Skullnelly.

Mike was just the last name given to us when we entered the witness relocation program.

Mike just couldn’t be a REAL last name.  Not sure anyone ever actually believed me.

If you see the picture of me in my youth, you understand that I needed all the cool points I could get.

David "Skullnelly" Mike

David “Skullnelly” Mike

Over the phone, when asked for my last name, and I say Mike, the usual response is “I said your LAAAAST name.” (Emphasis intended).

After reassuring them that I understand questions presented to me in English, the usual comeback is, “Then how do you spell that?”


And those poor telemarketers that ask, “May I please speak to Mr. Mike David?”

“Well sorry, he doesn’t live here.”

During Basic Training the object is to avoid the most pain, suffering and humiliation from the Drill Sergeants.

You try to blend in and not get singled out for any reason, from all the other shaved head, camo wearing individuals.

No luck there… “You, two first names, get over here…”

One of my favorite comments was, “Hey, why do you get to have your first name on your uniform?”

At my current job as a Cosmetology Instructor, I go by Mr. Mike.

It seems as if the Mr. part just gets dropped off after a while by our regular clients.

It is just, “Hey, Mike!” , “Isn’t that right, Mike?” or “Go get Mike, he knows how I like my hair cut.”

After finding out that my first name is David, they usually say, “You don’t look like a David, you look like a Mike!”

Well I am technically, sort of ish.


With three daughters, the Mike girls will not have the last name curse follow them after they get married.

Unless they make the guy change his last name to Mike, or what if his first name is Mike?


I really do like my last name and I am used to all the comments.

This is a good thing because they will probably never stop.

By the way, you CAN trust me.

My middle name is Charles which triples out the two first name thing…

Is anyone out there with me?

  • Hey Mr. Mike, this is Mr. Ryan. Yes, I too am blessed with 2 first names. I judge people as d-bags if after knowing me for sometime they still call me Ryan. It just reaffirms that they care more about themselves. Perhaps that’s unfair, but more often then not, my read on the people is correct.

    • dilemmamike

      So do you go by Mr. Ryan or Mark?

  • Great first post! It was engaging and made me smile a couple of times…great START…Start friend! Hope you enjoy blogging…i know i do 🙂

    • dilemmamike

      Thank you, I am glad I finally jumped off the cliff!

  • Randi Lorie

    I get this, too. People I’ve worked with for years will still inadvertently address me by my last name. I laugh it off – I’ve gotten used to it – but you have to wonder, is it REALLY THAT HARD?

    • dilemmamike

      Must be, maybe you we should change our last names to Smith or Jones. Maybe not!

  • I don’t think it matters what your last name is, someone will find a way to make fun of it. I have a double L name – Lynn Long. I got teased about being “Lynn Short” and numerous other comments along those lines. I also got “L squared” (because of the double L). If I say my name together (go ahead, say it out loud) and only speaking to someone on the phone, people assumed I was Asian (I’m Irish/Scottish/English), so people were ultimately disappointed if they then met me in person and always exclaimed “I thought you were Asian!” The best one anyone ever came up with was “Lynn Long and Prosper” while doing the Vulcan salute. I just laugh and go with it. I think sometimes people don’t mean any harm or disrespect, they’re just trying to break the ice. I also like Douglas Adams explanation in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when Ford Prefect posits the following:

    “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical.”

    • dilemmamike

      Next time this happens you should take Captain Obvious by the shoulder and make him pass out with that Vulcan grip technique!

  • Darren Mike

    I love when people try to crack jokes and think they are original… How does someone ever actually think they can comment on the last name business and believe at age 40 that I haven’t heard it before?!!! “Um… Did you know you have two first names?” No! Thanks for shedding light on that for me! 🙂
    You also didn’t mention how many times your files/records etc get filed under your first name, or how awfully people try to mispronounce your wife’s last name because surely it couldn’t actually be “Mike,” could it? “Mrs. Mik-ay” “Mrs Mickey?” “Mrs Meeka?”
    Those are some of my favorite last name experiences! 🙂
    I enjoyed reading your post! Can’t wait to read more…

    • dilemmamike

      Thanks brother from the same mother…. and father!

  • Great post, Mr. Mike! Looking forward to following along!

    • dilemmamike

      Thanks for reading Nick!

  • Heather Elliott

    For some reason, I’ve always found it funny that people look at me, see I’m woman, and then puzzle – “Elliot” That’s a boys name!” as if I had never even introduced myself as Heather. I don’t get it consistently, but it’s happened and I laugh it off.

    Great post! I love it!

    • dilemmamike

      I worked with a last name Elliot before. Mrs. Elliot sounds a little backwards.

  • Erica

    Oh this will be great!!

    • dilemmamike

      Thank you!

  • Anita job, Anita life, Anita this and that…. say it out loud, you’ll get it.

    So yeah, I understand the name games- but at least you’re remembered 🙂

    Welcome to blogland, so glad you’re sharing!

    • dilemmamike

      That made me laugh! Anita remember that…

  • D.Lindemeier

    I can relate to your dilemma. People always think my name is Linda Meier even though I will tell them upfront thatLindemeier is my last name… They just don’t listen! I love your blog.

    • dilemmamike

      This is something I did not know about your last name! Thanks for sharing.

  • My last name is Christian but it almost always gets turned into Christiansen by people that don’t know me or telemarketers. I kinda like it because I know who to hang up on!

    By the way,,,you ARE a writer! Congrats on your first post. This blogging/writing this is a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Plus you get to meet lots of cool people (and some jerks, but a good community will help run them off!).

    • dilemmamike

      Thanks for the inspiration, and thanks for reading!

  • My last name isn’t the issue, it’s my town. I work at Safeway in Sandy, Oregon. We get lot’s of people passing through on the way to Mt. Hood. I wear a name tag and you see the light go on. “Oh, Sandy from Sandy” and then inevitably. “I bet you’ve never heard that before!” Or when I work customer service and answer the phone, ” Thank you for calling Sandy Safeway, this is Sandy speaking, how can I help you?” And then you get a pause and a giggle. “Oh your name is Sandy and you work in Sandy!”
    I’ve gotten to the point when meeting someone new that I introduce myself as “Sandy from Sandy.” It can be irritating when I’m busy but mostly I look at it as an ice breaker and a way to be remembered.

    • dilemmamike

      Please tell me that nobody ever sings the song “Summer Lovin” to you!?

  • Brittney (Piper) Bennett

    From now on you are Mr. Skullnelly!

    • dilemmamike

      That’s awesome, just don’t tell anybody.

  • Sarah Hinrichs

    Mr Mike! this is AMAZING!!! I loved it! cant wait to read more 🙂

    • dilemmamike

      Thanks for your encouragement. Makes me excited to post the next one!

  • Loved it man! Great first posts. I’m used to people murdering my last name, so at least people can read yours!

    • dilemmamike

      I learned German in high school so I think I could take a whack at your last name, but it might be whack!

  • Also, good work with the wordpress template and widgets you used. I’m a fan.

    • dilemmamike

      Thanks, I value your opinion. I am a fan of the Amish Hipster!

  • Mr. Mike, I have a last name for a last name, Hodges. My problem is my first name. Pamela. Everyone wants to shorten it to Pam. As in, Pam, the non-stick spray. I always correct people.

    • dilemmamike

      This I understand as well. People always want to call me Dave. When they do that I always feel like I lost my “id” I quit correcting people. Or I just let them call me Mike which for some reason some people change to “Michael”?

      • Susan

        Lost your “id.” HAHAHA!!!

        • David Mike

          Pretty original, right? Thanks for reading!

  • Great first post! Keep it up. 🙂

    • dilemmamike

      Thanks For Reading!

  • Tristan Mike

    Your best-man speech at our wedding truly prepared me for this life as a Mike. I didn’t realize how difficult it could be. Of course, I remember being confused myself. The most common male name for umpteen years couldn’t possibly be a last name. I love having an appointment and everytime, they say my name which naturally is Mike Tristan (my parents had no idea I would one day have two boy names), they always are on the lookout for a guy. When no guy is in the waiting room, there’s double confusion. Then when I stand-up, they always double-check their charts. Surely my first name can’t actually be Mike. The chart is usually right–not always.

    • dilemmamike

      Funny, I have known both male and female Tristans. I’m sure the movie “Legends of the Fall” has been your demise. I mean everyone knows Tristan is a man just from watching that movie. Brad Pitt is the epitome of testosterone. Maybe you should start going by your middle name, or quit going to the doctor? OK, neither of those are a good idea.

      • Tristan Fischer Mike

        Haha. I just read this a year later My middle name is Wilma. LOL!!! I’ll keep two boy names, thank you.

        • David Mike


  • My husband’s name is Don Scott. People are always calling him Scott. So, I’m sure he can relate. I, on the other hand, was glad his last name was Scott because no one could spell my last name correctly. No one misspells Scott.

    • dilemmamike

      You must have had an interesting maiden name, I am guessing? Thanks, for reading my blog!

  • Great post, David. Humorous and well written. You could tell you enjoyed writing it. And your pic added a lot.

    • dilemmamike

      Thank you for your kind words. I did enjoy writing this post!

  • Lydia Marie Mike

    hi. I have 3 names and I’m your daughter.

    • dilemmamike

      Yes you are!

  • Milina Jaye Mike

    hi. i have three names…

    • dilemmamike

      Yes, we gave them to you!

  • Excellent! Well done, Mike.

    • dilemmamike

      Thank you for taking the time to read. I am truly honored! Your inspiration is part of the reason I got started.

  • Cathy Rennie

    Really enjoyed your blog. Loved hearing of your Italian heritage, and the origin of “Mike”. You have a knack for drawing people in with your humor and “realness”… is that a word??

    • dilemmamike

      Thank you for reading! Realness can be a “real” word!

  • Lindsay Mike

    Love your first blog but not as much as I love you! Proud wife!

    • dilemmamike

      Thank you for all your support and for the kick in the butt the day you said, “Do it or don’t do it!”. Love you too!

  • Laura Harris

    My mother spelled my middle name wrong on purpose (Denice…with a “c”). Teachers would tell me I was spelling it wrong. I was confused most of my life. Lol

    • David Mike

      It’s never good when an adult says you’re wrong when you know you are right, especially when it’s your teacher. Thanks for sharing.

  • Melody MIKE

    Depending on the day, I still get annoyed. Then again, I’ve only been a Mike for 6 years! Here’s how my best one went when calling the Dr. to make an appointment.
    Receptionist: Last name
    me: Mike
    R: No, last name. (Really, does she know any females named Mike?!)
    me: Mike
    R: Mike is your last name?
    me: Yep
    R: ARE YOU SURE?! (REALLY? Am I sure? Yep, that’s what my marriage cert says!)

    • David Mike

      Make you not so sure you want to keep the last name! If there were a way to do that without getting rid of my brother. On second thought, bad idea!

  • mintlaka

    I’m just starting to get caught up with your blog!

    I get the opposite with my name.

    R: First name?
    Me: Milaka
    R: FIRST name, please.
    Me: That is my first name.


    • David Mike

      My next question to you if course is how do you pronounce Milaka?

      • mintlaka

        Ah! Yes, a logical question! It’s mill-AH-kuh. When telemarketers call asking for MILL-uh-kuh, she’s never here. Neither is Mikayla.

        • mintlaka

          The moniker “Mintlaka” came about from my nephew. We were going to have him call me Aunt Laka, but he heard everyone calling me Milaka so he merged the two. He’s 11 and he still calls me Mintlaka.

  • mintlaka

    Oh, and my maiden name was Myers. I was forever having to say “no ‘E’.” (as in Meyers). When I got married, I remember thinking that I wouldn’t ever have to say that again. That was true. Now I have to say, “Falk – no ‘U’.”

  • Nicole Shute

    (Ok, I am way late on commenting/reading this post, but wanted to comment anyway!) Nobody can spell my last name because it is spelled “Shute.” They want to do “Shoot” “Chute” or “Schute”! People also will say “Oh like, oh shoot!” when I first tell them my last name. Or will apologize when they say “shoot” in frustration. Lol. I sometimes mess with people when they do say it and respond with “yes?” They give me a puzzled expression as a response. Names are funny!

    • David Mike

      Yes, it’s a good thing we have a sense of humor to go along with our names. Life could be interesting otherwise! Thanks for the comment.

  • Denyse @ Glitter, Glue & Paint

    Well I get stuck with people wanting to mispell my first name all the time and then they slaughter my last name. Darn italians (LOL). When I was in high school I would have a teach constantly call my name, “DENNIS PATERNITY”…needless to say I would not answer. 😉

    • David Mike

      I wouldn’t answer to that either, it’s crazy!

  • Just read this post. I have written a draft of a memoir about my experiences with online dating and this is the tentative title of one of the chapters! Sorry – but I am a full believer in this advice. I’m open to making an exception 😉

    • David Mike

      That’s funny! However, remember I have three first names. It cancels the whole thing out. Lol!

  • Jordin Ketelsen

    Just married into a first-name for a last-name situation. My last name is now “Kelly.” Thanks for showing me what the rest of my life will be like…really appreciate it, Mike. I mean David! Damn…

    • David Mike

      Lol! Welcome to the club Kelly! (JK) See your name has many fun things attached to it.

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