Bradley, Bradlé, and Brad Pitt

My mother named me after Bradley Carlton. He was her favorite character from the American soap opera Young and the Restless.

Bradley Carlton from CBS's The Young and the Restless



            I don’t think my life is anywhere near as dramatic as a show filled with romantic plot twists, but having the same name as an 80’s daytime television star has made meeting new people very interesting. 


           As far as I know, "Bradley" is a pretty American name, and I never had a reason to consider it exotic. “Brad-lee” is how I’ve always heard it pronounced, but things have changed since arriving in La Roche-Sur-Yon. I have become a completely different person. No matter how many times I say "Bradley" I am always called Bradlé.
 
            It was bit confusing at first until I realized I was doing the exact same thing to every single French name.
Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) stars Audrey Tatou and is one of the most popular french films in the world. Every time I say I am a fan of “Aud-ree” people stare at me and claim they have never heard of her, until someone very kindly corrects me.

   
            “He means “Audray Tattoo.”

“Ah! Voila! C’est Audrey! I like zis film very much!”  

I had just become content with being Bradlé when I met a man who tried to make things easier with one simple question.
   
“Alors, it is Bradlé or Bradley?”

            “Umm...well Bradley is how we say in the States”

            “Ah, umm ok, Bradleeeee...uhhh.”

            The sight of his mouth straining to pronounce my name ‘correctly’ was as depressing as it was humorous. I didn’t want to trouble him, or anyone for that matter, so to make things I told him to call me “Brad”.

            “Bread...Bret?”

            “No, Brad....like Brad Pitt.”

            “Ouais! Brad Pitt! Yes, you are Brad Pitt!”

            “No,no...Ok.Yes...I am Brad Pitt...”




Brad Pitt in Ocean's 11

          On normal days, I am plain ol’ Bradley from Texas. I like to eat apples with a knife and play guitar. In my more recent French days I am Bradlé. I wear a scarf and eat kebab. But every now and then, when all communication and linguistics fail, I am Brad Pitt. I use an actor's fame to meet people.