First, just call me Grant. I don't go by or often use my first name. Why? Because of the Cary Grant Name Syndrome (CGNS). This is a terrible and dire pathological condition affecting millions of people just here in the US. (I'm not yet sure about the rest of the world.) People afflicted with CGNS can appear quite normal, walking and talking and chewing gum (sometimes at the same time!) while they actually suffer from this terrible debilitating condition. To find out if they have CGNS just tell them that your first name is "Cary". They will then call you "Gary", spell your name as "Carrie", "Gary", "Kerry", or some other unusual spelling while completely getting your gender wrong. Hey! I'm a GUY! Then, in the really, really desperate cases, you tell them your full name, "I'm Cary Grant Anderson" and they continue to call you "Gary" or "Barry" and then when you SPELL out your first name ("C", "a", "r", "y") they write it down as "Carrie"or "Kerry" (that's the Irish variant not the common spelling). Then, if you ask them if they like Cary Grant, they'll say something like, "Oh! I love Cary Grant movies. Do you love them too, Gary?"
As you can see, this is a terribly debilitating condition that could afflict as many as one in four adult Americans. Can you spot the CGNS afflicted person in the above photo?
So, to make things infinitely easier for them (as life is already pretty challenging for them already I suspect) I just use the name "Grant", my official middle name. It's a single syllable. It's hard to misspell. It's hard to confuse the gender. And there's a growl and a grunt somewhere in there too....GRRRRRANT!!!!!
So, just call me Grant. It's much easier.
I've also, in the past, responded to "Hey, you!" and "You there!" and other phrases. My boys call me "Old Man!" and I call them "Young Guy!" in return.
First, let me tell you that I have always laughed at old 40+ ex-hippies that wear a suit...and a ponytail. It looks so...weird, dude! And I still laugh at them.
I may have ponytail but I'm not an ex-hippy. Far, far from it. I'm a hardworking guy who started work at the age of 14, never did drugs, never abused alcohol, is a dedicated family man (though divorced and single now), and have a large disdain (do ex-hippies even know what "disdain" means?) for hedonistic hippy-like lifestyles and "ideals". I don't do drugs and don't support the use of non-prescription drugs. I am about as far from a hippy as one could be (without a crew cut).
So why do I wear a ponytail? Well, because I feel it is "natural" for me. And, really if you must know, I have great hair (so many hair stylists have told me) and I figure I should enjoy it while I have it. So I wear it long but bundled up in a ponytail. This was a big transition for me some years ago and now it feels quite natural to me. Previously I always had short hair.
A friend, who calls me an "urban shaman", says that I look Abenaki so it's natural that I wear it Abenaki style. Hmmmm....I had to go research that on the Internet. (And the "urban shaman" thing too!). It turns out that Abenaki are NOT the Annunaki from the planet Nibiru (which was supposed to show up in 2012 but didn't) but actually are Native Americans from the Northeast states and southern Canada. This friend thinks that I look like them and wear my hair like them.
Well, I guess it's possible. I did take a little visit to Vermont a few years ago to my hometown...Which it turns out that I had never been to previously. It was quite a nice visit (and a great small town!)...but that's another story.