Thursday, October 23, 2008

What's in a name?

When I was in kindergarten, there were five Sara(h)s in my class. I begged my parents to let me change my name... My five-year-old brain couldn't fathom why my parents would put me through the turmoil of having to answer to my name five times more than the average kid. My parents, however, would not budge. They knew me well, and they knew that I would probably want to change my name to something like "Weird Al" Parsons, or Monkey-Wrench Parsons. Sure, there were some other children that shared my pain, the Christophers and Katies and Matthews, but somehow I felt like I was all alone in my struggle. To this day, I still don't look up when I hear someone yell my name in public, because I assume that they must be calling for another Sarah. I typically keep my head down until someone is yanking on my arm and yelling my full name, first and last, directly into my ear.

That being said, in recent years, parents have really tried hard to set their children apart by choosing unique names (actually, let's just be honest here: the names are, for the most-part, bizarre and regretful). In my adult years, I have become increasingly aware of the reasons as to why my parents named me so commonly. Sure, I hated being mistaken for every other Sarah on the planet for years and years, but at least I could always find a custom toothbrush with my name painted on it.

At the clinic, I see about a hundred newborns a week. There have been a total off three Sara(h)s in the year-and-a-half that I have been working with the babies. I have seen fifty or sixty Jaydens and probably four-hundred Aidens. I have seen one Christopher, and thirty Irelands. What the fuck, moms and dads?

I do support some 'different' names. I guess it's a-okay if you're a bit wonky yourself, and aren't going to be satisfied with a white-bread moniker for your offspring, but some of the monstrosities that come into the clinic just leave the general public feeling sorry for the kid. Here's a few for-real names that I've come across in the last couple of years that will cause the child years and years of parental resentment:

Hollis Rollie -
I love Queens more than most Canadian white girls.... I've crossed over the Far Rockaway Bridge more than a few times. It's a well-known fact that some of the greatest knockoffs and weave-shops reside in Hollis' colorful streets, and you can't deny the amount of hip hop heritage that springs from it's seedy concrete. Hollis, as a name on it's own, might be okay, but then you take it a step further give your child a middle name like 'Rollie'. Put the two names together, and you're really just telling the world that you used to sling green-bags out of your Cross Colors jacket on the corner of 90th and 190th before you moved to Canada and accidentally knocked up some bitch.

Look, I get it guys. I was a horny teenager in the 90's too. I fully understand that it's impossible to even imagine making a slow-jams mixtape without at least one Jodeci track, but do you really want to name your first-born daughter after a band whose entire M.O. was built around getting high and writing songs about fuckin'?

It may be a little hilarious to call a small baby a great big tough name (in the same way that it's funny to put sunglasses on a dog), but when someone grows up with a name like 'King', they are destined to become a super bummed-out A&R guy with a mild heroin addiction.....There's no other option.

How cute were the Golden Girls? They went on dates and drank Sanka and argued with each other and complained about being old (a lot). They also had heart problems, strokes, dentures, and adult diapers. There's really no reason to prematurely age your child by, like, eighty years.

If you genuinely want your child to grow up to be a grizzled waitress or chubby flight attendant, this is a surefire ticket.

Insta-daddy issues. Also makes your child wonder, for life, if they were the product of a botched back-alley abortion. The white-trash route is never the right way to go... You guys should know that by now.

Really, moms and dads, all I'm saying is that things names need to shift back to normal soon. Good luck trying to find a dollar-store mug with 'Ainslee' printed on it, jerks.

~sarah p.

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