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Aunt_Beth_64
Posts: 261
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

In regard to the question about changing a name or nickname.....I haven't personally had that experience, but my nephew has. He had changed schools and came home the first day and announced that he wanted to be identified by his initials from now on instead of his given name. He was about 11 years old at the time and I recall being amused thinking that this would be another of his many passing fads. It wasn't. He is now in high school and his friends only know him by his intials. There are some of us in the family who slip and still call him by name. He doesn't seem to mind.
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drbjaded
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

They are very close in that they are always together.  It's always Benji and Reggie or Reggie and Benji.  Someone always asks one about the other.  They went to school and they shared a bedroom until their sister went off to college. 

 

They begin to drift apart with puberty when Benji gets taller and Reggie is kinda short and stocky.  Benji begins to start high school leaving Reggie behind.  Benji wants to ride his bike around while Reggie wants to walk and is cleaning his shoes while Benji waits to discover Sag Harbor.  On the way to Sag Harbor Reggie sleeps more than Benji does.  Reggie seems more excited about the trip than Reggie does.  Benji leaves Reggie to go with NP to the beach. 

 

Benji wants to change his name to Ben.  Seems like Reggie wants to be more popular with his kicks (shoes) as he tries to keep them clean. 

 

I have no experiences of trying to change my name. 

"You cannot love life until you live the life you love."
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blkeyesuzi
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie


Aunt_Beth_64 wrote:
In regard to the question about changing a name or nickname.....I haven't personally had that experience, but my nephew has. He had changed schools and came home the first day and announced that he wanted to be identified by his initials from now on instead of his given name. He was about 11 years old at the time and I recall being amused thinking that this would be another of his many passing fads. It wasn't. He is now in high school and his friends only know him by his intials. There are some of us in the family who slip and still call him by name. He doesn't seem to mind.

Same thing happened here.  Our son, Justin, switched schools his freshman year of high school.  My husband and I went to the first "open house" and asked if anyone had seen Justin.  Much to our dismay, no one had ever heard of him.  We were stunned until someone said, "oh! you mean JT! He's over there."

 

Justin hadn't told us that the kids had decided he reminded them of Justin Timberlake, so started calling him JT and it stuck. 

 

He's been JT ever since! LOL 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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gringorn
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-26-2007
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

My son-in-law comes from a family with alot of "Michael"s in it, which is also his first name.  He grew up as Jason, went to college and was known as Jason and it wasn't until shortly before he met my daughter that he decided to use his given first name in his business and personal life.  We have only ever known him as Michael and it is confusing to us sometimes when some of his family members or friends from the "old days" still refer to him as Jason.  He originally decided to make the change because he had moved to a new city, nobody knew him and it was just easier to go by Michael.  Now, even he gets confused if anybody calls him Jason!
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Naming is such an important aspect of who we are.  We are just given our names by others, and are usually given our nicknames by others, and they become an integral part of who we are.  The shift from Benji to Ben is highly symbolic, I think, in Ben's desire to move from childhood to adulthood, to choose at least to some degree to self-define rather than accept the parental defining.  It is much more than just a name change; it is a step in the process of separation from caccooning within family into the beginnings of independence.

 

I see this in the change from the trip out of the city, where he sits in the back of the car with where he is going totally defined by his parents, to the freedom of being at the beach house without parents, having not only the right but the obligation to define for himself where at any given moment he will be and go. 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Maybe they won't change.  I'm the father of now 27 year old identical twins who were inseparable; not only went through school together, all 13 years, always in the same class, but went to the same college, roomed together, took the same classes, and now work together in their own school.  And they married identical twins who were just as close, because all four of them realized that nobody but a close twin could ever understand the twin bond.  It's an amazing process to watch them. 

 

So while your twins might separate, as Reggie and Ben do, it's not inevitable!

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Just to clarify, Benji and Reggie are 10 months apart... they're not biological twins. They're close in age, so it's understandable where the confusion lies.

 

Their separation is more of the "I don't want to be the older brother any more." or "I'm sick of being the younger brother."

 

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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biljounc63
Posts: 189
Registered: ‎11-02-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

There really is something up with the home life. The father is very strict with the boys but at the same time both parents seem to let the kids be on thier own so much of the time. I found the note that Reggie found int the parents bedroom that most likely was written by thier mother disturbing. It makes me wonder if there could be "another family" in the picture as wel. According the the story they wouldn't be the only ones.

Will the family still be together by the time the book ends at this point it looks doubtful?

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

"Reading lets you visit the world of another"
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bud12
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎01-26-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

With puberty in full bloom, it is the elder brother's task to separate first, and Benji does in fact comment that the "psychic" release that pulls him away from Reggie occurs at the roller disco party in the spring when Emily Dorfman took an interest in him. Benji found his hand entwined with hers, both of them hot and sweaty, with no younger brother attached to his other hand with Benji protecting him as always. It is the advent of his teenage sexuality that causes him to realize that facing the opposite sex is a two person thing and not a threesome. With hormones raging, separation between the brothers is inevitable, as they discover the pull of sexuality which leaves little room for their asexual brotherhood of years past.

Benji is a typical firstborn who has to make his way without an older brother to be a role model for him. His father is harsher with him and it makes sense that he is more insecure than Reggie, who has had the benefit of watching his brother take those first steps outward.

Of course when there is a real danger that one of them faces, such as Benji being shot with the bb gun, then blood is thicker than water, and  Reggie gets worried and looks out for him.  I am sure that the same would have happened in reverse if it had been Reggie who had gotten hit.

  

Jo
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Guerneymember12
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-21-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

they define themselves by looking at each other.  Each one has not become a true individual yet, looking at who they are and what they want.  so far they have wanted to be "one".  However, they are coming upon that wonderful time in a teens life when they want to assert their individuality.  I know it's a cliche, but its true none the less.  So they will start with little things and instead of Benji, one will be Ben.  The name is just symbolic of what he's trying to do.  As are many of the little things, but they are important little things.  They do have to grow up and make decisions on their own. so its good we have this inborn instinct.
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PinkPanther
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎10-26-2008

Re: Benji n' Reggie

 

Benji and Reggie are growing apart in ways that friends grow apart when getting to High School. Usually siblings stay close until they find their "niche" and then they separate. Is is sad how this happens and thankfully it does not happen to every family's siblings. Reggie has gotten a new job and he is at home for a lesser amount of time, while Beji has all the time in the world to do whatever he wants. This leads Benjie to find ways of entertainment on his own, unlike before when they were both together all the time.  

 

In my opinion, both boys are trying to reivent themselves along with the rest of the children at Sag Harbor. Reggie is taking the more responsible approach because he has gotten a job, while Benji is trying to find himself. Both boys will eventually be responsible individuals, and have Sag Harbor to thank for making them who they will be.

 

I have never tried to change my name or my nickname because I feel like it would be untrue to myself. I am happy with the way I am and the nicknames that I have. I also feel unique with my nicknames because I know that nobody has the same nickname as me.......popo. My grandpa gave it to me on the day I was born, and it has stuck ever since.

"I ought, therefore I can"
-Immanuel Kant
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lovetoread75
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Registered: ‎02-11-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

While I have never tried to change my name, I have a friend who after college wished to be called Howard instead of Howie as he entered the business world.  While the request is understandable it still amused me.  Most people probably know him as Howard these days, but I will probably always call him Howie as do most from his pre-career days.  It doesn't seem he minds.  I think Benji's request to be called "Ben" came at a wrong time? or perhaps made to the wrong crowd?  Would Reggie or his parents honor his request?

 

I would be interested to know how Reggie views his relationship with his brother and how he views himself in the relationship.  Benji seems to admire Reggie's individualism...I wonder if the reverse is true.

 

While they were left alone together at the "empty house" they seemed to only communicate when necessary  (ie. the electricity is out or the source of a foul stench needs to be found)  and end up seeing very little of each other when working.  They even arrange to sleep in separate rooms but commandeer their parents room for this purpose.  What was wrong with the sisters room? 

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Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

The brothers are growing apart - they spend more time apart and seem to have different priorities. I agree with those who have stated that Reggie appears more mature than his older brother Benji in many ways. he seems more sure of himself. They are both trying to define themselves & find their own place. (a few ex. - Reggie's sneakers, no bike, Benji's attempt at the nickname)...

My nickname(s) when I was a kid were variations of my first name with my last name or last initial... When I was a kid in school, there were so many girls with my name - Dawn - about 4 of us - and we were friends and in the same grade- and there were other Dawn's in the other grades too...I would have liked a more creative or fun nickname! :smileyhappy:

 

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floreader
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎09-15-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Since Benji and Reggie were so close in age, they were raised almost like twins.  They dressed alike and were inseparable.  As they get into high school. they start wanting their own identity.  Benji wants to be called Ben (although no one winds up calling him that).  He also wants to hang out with his friends more, including riding around in one friend's car.  Benji and his friends become more interested in girls.

Although the two brothers are extrememly close in age, a year's difference in teenage years is a lot.  I think the brother's drifting apart a little and have changing interests is normal behavior when siblings get to be teenagers.

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bookowlie
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

The first hints that the brothers' "twin" relationship is changing is when Reggie is cleaning his more hip style sneakers and wants to walk, instead of bike ride, around town.  Their interests are changing and they naturally drift apart a little.  They don't dress alike anymore.  Benji wants to have his own identity and wants to be called Ben.  He is more interested in being with his friends.  It's the natural maturing process when kids are teenagers.

I didn't change my name or nickname, but my niece did.  When she was in junior high, her friends started called her by a different nickname that when she was younger.  The nickname stuck and she is still known by this name.  It did cause some confusion among relatives who took a while to adjust to the name change.  At the time, she seemed very pleased by the name change.

 

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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

It seems that this is the summer when they will develop their own lives - while still dependent in one way or another on each other - they will become more self sufficient for friends and their own lives/personalities.

 

It's already evident with the tennis shoes, walking instead of riding to town that first day and with Reggie working at the BK while Benji continues to 'play' with his friends.

 

I thought that Reggie might be the one that grows up first back in the first chapter - and I may be right on that - but i' haven't read past the second chapter at this point.   He was surprisingly absent in the whole second chapter - except for brief mentions.  Will Benji miss his brother?  Aspire to be more like his brother?   Will his brother prove to be the cool one while Benji continues to be sort of the geeky tag along guy?

 

My guess is that they will always be close in some ways - but will move on and live their own independent lives - as functional adults.  Benji might miss Reggie more than the other way around.

 

Susan 

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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie


koren56 wrote:

It's a coming of age ritual. How many grown men do we know with little boy names? My bosses name is Bob. I cant picture a man with authority being called Bobby. My brother hasnt been Jimmy since he was a little boy. But what about Reggie. For some reason Reggie would be an acceptable man's name. Or Randy would be acceptable for a grown man. Go figure!


 

 

At the dojo where I have worked out for years, there was a high school boy we called Bobby because there was an older Bob.  He is now a medical doctor with a lot of authority, within and outside the judo community.  He is called Dr. Bobby by everyone.  He doesn't seem to mind.  I guess it just depends. 

MG

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Shadowwolf36
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Registered: ‎09-16-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

At the dojo where I have worked out for years, there was a high school boy we called Bobby because there was an older Bob.  He is now a medical doctor with a lot of authority, within and outside the judo community.  He is called Dr. Bobby by everyone.  He doesn't seem to mind.  I guess it just depends. 

MG


This reminds me of last weeks episode of "Hell's Kitchen" where Gordon continued to call Robert "Bobby" and Robert just rebelled completely. In his case, his father had been named Bobby and it brought up all kinds of bad memories and feelings of his childhood and he would not respond if called "Bobby".  I imagine there are many reasons for hating a childhood nickname.

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mattzay
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Benji started to get out his bike and act like everything is normal. Reggie spends time cleaning and taking care of his Filas. I think Reggie's change irritated Benji enough to continue to try to keep things the same.

 

The only thing I ever tried to change was my hair. I have dark brown hair and I used Sun-In one summer to try to make it look more blonde. I wound up with orange hair. I used to also act out a little bit in school because I was tired of being compared to my older siblings.

That makes me understand why Reggie asked to go to a different school than Benji.

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wisterialeigh
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Registered: ‎02-22-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

I guess I'm rather late in responding, but I joined this group just recently. I think that Benji and Reggie began to define their own identity quite early.  What stuck out in my mind most was his name change. Benji choosing to be called Ben is his way of showing his family and friends he is no longer a kid. I remember my brother John did this same thing. He hated the name Johnny and he was also short. I think he was about 12 when he said, "Don't call me Johnny anymore."  However, I have a brother (baby of the family) who to this day is called Bobby...even by his wife.

The other telling sign was on page 24 when Ben asks, "Where is your bike?" and Reggie answers, "Nah,I'm going to walk."   At that point Reggie also stares at his bright new _________Filas. He had a problem not saying the word. I think later in the book this will be significant.

 

Wisteria Leigh