Earlier this year, I posted about how weirdly and mostly subconsciously obsessed I am with my name. In fact, looking back at it, I now realize that it’s the last post I made that wasn’t one of my serenades or snapshots. Coinky-dink, I guess. But what I vaguely mention every now and then but mostly stray away from admitting in any lengthy way is that I have no right, whatsoever, to complain about my name.
Because if any living, breathing creature ever has the misfortune to be named by yours truly, they are going to get a really messed up name. My taste in names is about as normal as my taste in socks. If you haven’t seen my sock collection, then I’ll go ahead and translate that for you: it’s really strange and colorful, to the point of being less than functional at times.
I’m really sad that my sweet, knee-high manatee socks are literally in the washer right now and therefore not in this photo.
But anyway, you get the picture. A person who own those socks, and then names things in the same way she chooses to purchase socks should not be given the responsibility for naming sentient beings. That’s the main reason why I didn’t change my adorable fluffs’ names when I got them from their respective rescue orgs. Dorrie and Skeeter came with their names, and answered to them really well, and the world breathed a collective sigh of relief at that discovery each time.
Of course, I still call Dorrie “Adorrieable” all the time, and “Lula” (not sure where that one came from) and I refer to them as bears…so they’re still name-victims a little bit. Nickname victims, I suppose. But it could be much, much worse if I were given free reign, as history has shown. Take, for example, the things that I’ve named in the past without restraint.
In the beginning, there was Oatmeal, my stuffed bunny that I still think of as a dog, because I wanted him to be a dog and therefore lived in denial for 19 years.
And, of course, Rammylamb.
Let’s not forget my more recent naming experiments, such as the painfully obvious Hot Dog Wallet, or any of the many yearbook animal names I sanctioned (Rocky, Crayloa, Shaquandra…)
But all of this pales in comparison to long list of names that I have, in the past, planned to saddle any hapless progeny with as a mother. First, I wanted some nice biblical names, like Delilah or Judas. Then in middle school, I decided that religion wasn’t my bag anymore, and went with some really “edgy” city names – Lexington and Concord.
Those two, by the way, were the inspiration for this particular post when reading this line from Gina Damico’s book Croak:
“…who often asserted that anyone crazy enough to name her daughters after the first battles of the American Revolution [Lexington and Concord, whattayaknow] waived all rights to accuse anyone else of being too obsessed with anything.”
Since I got over that whole wretched idea, I’ve run through several others:
- Langley – because I thought it was, you know, unisex.
- Salamaca – unique and multiple nickname options.
- Athena, Psyche, and Gawain – who doesn’t love a healthy mix of Greek myth and Arthurian lore?
- Quixote – I have no excuse for this one. It was short-lived.
- Tuesday – I blame my infatuation with the Thursday Next series for this one.
- Annabelle – my current fave, though I’m not sure why, really. I just like it.
And so I beg of you all: don’t let me name my own children. If I happen to adopt kids, just pretend that they came with names. Forge official papers, lie to religious entities and government officials – whatever you have to do – do it. And if some unforseen folly occurs and I actually have my own kids…train my husband/secret and famous lover in how to trick me into naming them something normal.
I’ll just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing to resolve my naming fantasies – use them as characters in my writings.