Her name was Anastasia, but not because she resembled Russian royalty. She was named this because her mother had liked the way it sounded, its elegance, its implied grace. “It will make you seem more important than you really are,” was what she told the baby, no more than twenty minutes old. “If you do not grow to be pretty, then at least your name will always be so.”
And Anastasia did grow, but not to be pretty. On the contrary, she was plain. Other children called her Jane — Plain Jane — until she thought it would be a better name.
When she was 28, she changed her name. Anastasia was now Jane. But, she was no longer plain. She had become beautiful, befitting of a princess’s name.
Now when people met her, and she told them her name was Jane, they would say something like “Oh! Such a pretty name!” And she would smile, because it wasn’t.
Jane, she knew, was plain.