The First “Hey, Cha Cha!”

2011, Cha Cha Cha

About two years ago, when I was twenty-six years old, I received in the mail an undistinguished white envelope clearly from my father, his chicken-scratch handwriting unmistakable. Inside was a newspaper clipping of an article with a chicken-scratched Post-It note clipped to the corner, “I knew I always liked that name.” 

The article was from the New York Times, a regular Sunday Styles column, Modern Love. This particular column was written by a man about to become a father to his second daughter (I am my father’s second daughter). 

The article told the man’s story of choosing his daughter’s name. He goes through several options in the 1,200-word piece, but in the end, he and his wife name their daughter Charlotte—they would call her Cha Cha.

The next time I saw my dad, he said, “Hey, Cha Cha!” 

By the time I was 27, I was reborn and Cha Cha was full of possibilities. 

Originally from the east coast, Cha Cha lives in southern California with her fiance (he’s a plumber) and their bob-tailed cat, Copper Soup.

As a woman, Cha Cha spends her time writing, reading (though not as much as she wishes she did), watching Project Runway (way more than she wished she did—especially since the show ended in 2019), trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day (otherwise, she won’t leave the house because she works from home), learning how to manage her money, and talking to herself out loud.

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