Yes, I know it’s actually spelled vinegar. I’m an ace speller, I swear (pls to be ignoring netspeak).
This story starts in the 5th grade. The spelling bee was coming up, and I was in fierce competition with my best friend/arch-nemesis, Natalie Patterson, to be our class’s representative in the event. I call her my arch-nemesis because we were involved in a constant fight over title of “Smartest kid in class”, and the ever-present partner to that title, “Teacher’s pet”. We both knew all of the answers to every question, and secretly delighted in the other’s failure, even though we spent every weekend having sleepovers and commiserating about which boys in class we would one day marry. It was the way of the world at that point in my life.
When my teacher, Mr. Wilkerson, announced that he’d be administering a spelling test to see who would get to participate in the bee, the entire class eyed Natalie and I, and we all knew the fight was on. I won out, but I think it may have been by just one word. I’m slick like that.
I honestly didn’t spend much time studying for the test, which was a running habit for me that continued through high school and would later prove to be my downfall in college. Spelling came easily to me, mostly because I had a knack for memorizing words and read pretty voraciously, which is the key to building the ridiculously large vocabulary that I have today. I don’t remember much about the spelling bee itself, except standing there on the stage in front of the 4th and 5th grade classes and spelling that word wrong. Sometimes, when given a word that I’m not on friendly spelling terms with, I try to visualize something I know the word is spelled on (for example, looking at that bottle of vinegar every time Easter came around and it was time to dye the eggs). This didn’t help that time, and in fact I knew I had spelled it wrong as soon as the -er came out of my mouth. The rules of the ‘bee are hard and fast, though, and I knew it was too late. The only other thing I remember about that day is the long walk of shame from the stage to the table my class was seated at, and the look of condolence given to me by my teacher. I might also remember some hateful glee coming from Natalie, but I could also be projecting from the future on that one.
In high school, my best friend Rachel and I decided to start a band, even though we both played clarinet and didn’t know any cool instruments. I think I had decided to play bass in this band, and Rachel was going to be the bitchin’ guitarist/lead singer. I insisted on the name Vineger for the band. We also had notebooks that we’d decorate and pass back and forth and sort of journal in, instead of writing notes to each other. We named them, and one was of course Vineger. So then, when it came time for me to purchase my first domain, I naturally went with this one.