In The Beginning
Melinda Cheryl Jacobson
Born at a very young age, our heroine hated the name Melinda.
Even before she was old enough to think, she thought it sounded uptight and prissy.
She still thinks it sounds uptight and prissy.
By the time she started Stephen Decatur grammar school in Chicago, Illinois,
Melinda insisted on being called Linda—like the ten other Lindas in the neighborhood.
She didn’t want to be different. Of course, people who do not want to be different
should not wear dumb bows.
Linda Jacobson, adolescent
Debates still rage as to which qualifies as the most pathetic…the unplucked brows…
the 4-in-1 hairstyle…or the ear-covering headband. Huge opportunity missed by
editors of Glamour “Don’t” Column.
Linda Yellin, age 19
Teenager Linda was adopted by her lovely stepdad. The nice friendly judge in flowing
robes changed her last name by court order. Linda soon entered her Marlo Thomas stage.
To obtain this hairstyle for your own personal use, start with five gallons of Dippity-do,
then set hair on Minute Maid Orange Juice Cans. Be prepared to pick up radio signals.
Who in their right mind gets married at 22? Linda got married at 22.
She picked a china pattern, changed her last name, and got a job writing
catalog copy for Sears — assigned to electric can openers and
fluorescent lighting fixtures.
Linda Yellin redux
Okay, so the marriage didn’t work out. Linda kept the furniture.
Mr. Cadwell kept Cadwell. By then Linda was working as a copywriter in
an advertising agency writing headlines for Betty Crocker Stir ‘n Frost.
Not only was she a divorcée — she was a Career Woman.
Back to the bridal registry! Linda marries Randy Arthur. The location of her new husband’s
children leads her to New York City where she claws her way into Young & Rubicam
as a freelance writer. (Code for: no dental benefits.) She never officially changes her name,
but her mother insists on addressing all birthday cards to Linda Arthur.
That keep-your-own-name thing never sat well with mom.
Linda Yellin redux
After losing sleep over “Should I move up in the alphabet and write as Linda Arthur
— or stay on the floor with Emile Zola and the dust bunnies?”…Linda Yellin decides to
publish as Linda Yellin. Most recently she has written this bio of herself in third person,
which feels really psychotic.