Nicknames: Mandy and La Zapatitos

Circa 1996
All my life, my family has called me Mandy. When my mom, sister, or cousins introduce me to someone, they call me Mandy. When I introduce myself to someone, I say I'm Amanda. This sometimes causes a bit of confusion. To my high school friends, I am Mandy, and to my college friends, I am Amanda. Isaiah only ever calls me Babe, or Baby, and sometimes Amanda, but never Mandy.

To my teaching credential friends, I am La Zapatitos. That's actually my gansta name, and it means "Little Shoes." The only time ever in my life that I was part of a group of Latina friends was in my bilingual teaching credential program, and our little crew of ladies sat around class one day giving one another nicknames. 

I used to wear a different pair of shoes to class each day (heels, even!), so I was christened La Zapatitos. Some of the girls still call me that to this day. There was also Charmin (pronounced like "charming" without the g) who went to the bathroom a lot, La Navajitas sold Cutco knives, and Shy Girl, among others.

In fact, I have had a long history of loving shoes. I have a vivid memory of when I was little (like four or five years old) and my mom had bought me a pair of patent leather Mary Janes. I wanted to show them off, so I thought that if I kicked my feet back when I walked, the people behind me could see my new shoes. They probably just thought, why does that girl walk so strangely?

Wall to Wall Shoes was this shop that sold trendy shoes by Nine West, Steve Madden, and other brands but for really cheap (without boxes, so probably display models or returns), $20 or less per pair. That was in high school, and I used to buy three or four pairs at a time. I'd even photograph my growing shoe collection (see photo). But because I bought shoes so often, I'd clean out my shoe closet a lot because I didn't have room for a hundred pairs of shoes. (This was during a time in my life when I did not think about the impact of over-consumption. I've changed my ways since then...)

I am kicking myself about it, though. If I had had the foresight to at least keep a couple of pairs of shoes from the 90s, it would be awesome to see how many of the same styles I wore then could work with today's trends. Heck, I can think of one pair right now that would have been perfect for the disco outfit I wore for my sister's bachelorette party. Tan leather, small platform, chunky-heeled strappy sandals with a wooden sole. Rats!

By the way, 1996 was probably the last time I photographed my shoes, and after being inspired by this post by Juanita, I think I should photograph my current shoe collection. Maybe it's a little silly, but for posterity's sake, it would be fun to look back twenty years from now and see what was going on with shoe trends. Did you catch from the photo that 18 years ago I was wearing Jack Purcells, Vans loafers, clunky patent leather Mary Janes, T-strap spectator shoes, and even brogues? Ha!

Do you have a nickname? What would your gangsta name be?


  1. Ha, I definitely have only known you as Mandy, but that's because Rosalinda introduced us :). My nickname has only always been Jenn or Jenny (which I hated). Haha, never thought about what my gangsta name would be. Something to do with how I spend my $ on books, probably... :)

    1. I hereby "gangsta christen" you "Barnes Y Noble" -- haha!

  2. I have no idea what my gangster name would be. Maybe "brains", 'cause I'm kind of a geek and have been known to spew random trivia. It's quite annoying, really. Unless you're my former best friend, in which case you just call me "book girl" and use me as your personal walking encyclopedia of sorts. But I guess that wouldn't make a very good gangster name huh?


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