Dear Katharine Hepburn…
by Cath Bore

There was a girl called Joan in my class at school. It seemed to me that someone with a name like Joan belonged in a black and white movie on a rainy midweek afternoon, not 1980s Britain with its manmade fabrics, bright pop music, and copies of Jackie magazine. Apparently Joan’s mum and dad wanted her to be called Joanne but her gran didn’t approve, and pushed for the short old fashioned name instead.

As a kid I could never work out why your name was Katharine, and not Catherine like mine. You had a mighty kicking K, my curvy C seemed dull and bland in comparison. I wanted our names to be the same. It bothered me no end that they weren’t, but in the end I decided my name was like that because my parents probably didn’t know how to spell it properly like yours did. Or perhaps my grandmother was a bit like Joan’s.

Joan got a lot of stick in school for having the same name as an old lady, but then again so did I, having glasses as thick as Murray Mints, and the rest. We notice our differences so much when we’re growing up. It’s all so intense.

Joan grew up to be a happy woman and I managed the same, eventually. When I got older I realised there were lots of ways of spelling the same name, and got okay about you and I and our mismatched letters. Now, I think your name is more beautiful than ever and mine is exactly like it, but in its very own way.


PHOTO: Actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cath Bore is a writer based in Liverpool U.K., currently writing a novel and lots of flash fiction. Her website is cathbore.wordpress.com.