Monday, October 13, 2008

The Hunt For the Perfect Names....May Be Over

I was once told that it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind. If that is the case, then I submit to you that it is doubly true for pregnant women. For example, just this weekend, Marcy decided not to kill every one of us (a decision, by the way, that everyone in the house except the cat supported).

The biggest things to change are our choices for the babies' names. After long consideration, we have decided that Broderick and Marshall are not right. After a brief, cordial discussion we have decided on these possible names:
  • Alexander Wayne
  • Anthony Shane

Okay, I am not going to lie. The discussion was not cordial. The truth is that the discussion was infuriating. When deciding on the name of a child, there are a number of things that each person brings into it that have nothing to do with rationality. Like a great number of things that happen in our marriage, there was no set list of rules out there. She never said, “Okay, honey, here are the things that I am looking for in a name,” and neither did I.

So, our search was a process of elimination. I would suggest a name and she would slap it out of the air like our cat slapping at a fly. Sometimes the reason was obvious, sometimes it was more obscure. Eventually, I began mentally keeping track of the reasons we rejected certain, perfectly good names.

Our Naming Criteria

1. Can’t use the name of any other child born in the near family. This would be copycatting and would create too much confusion at family events and gossip circles.
2. Can’t use the name of any of her former boyfriends.
3. Can’t use the name of any of her friends’ former boyfriends.
4. Can’t use the name of any of her family’s former boyfriends.
5. Can’t use the name of anyone who was ever mean to us in school or in life. More than once during our discussions, something like this was said: “Oh, I knew this kid named Franklin in third grade and he used to put boogers in my hair. No Franklins.”
6. Can’t use any boy’s name that could also be a girl’s name. This one was mine. I think I took that Johnny Cash song, Boy Named Sue too seriously. I wouldn’t want to be tracked down later in life and beaten by my son Tracy.
7. Can’t use the name of any former pets.
8. Name must be able to be abbreviated in a cute, yet masculine way. Marcy is a sucker for an abbreviation. If it were up to her, the entire English language would be monosyllabic. She calls me just “J”. I am sure she will do the same to Alex and Tony.
9. Names must sound good together. Of course what “good together” means is very subjective. Often we would find a good single name but when combined with the other name it would sound preposterous. “Samuel and Wallace? Wallace and Samuel? Does that sound like a law firm?”
10. Names can not get them beat up. This is similar to 6. Everyone knew that kid in school with the very bad name. It either sounded like something embarrassing or could be crafted into a rhyme and perhaps set to a tune in which it compares the child to what his name sounds like. I, for example, knew a guy in college named Harry Peters. We all called him “Steve”.
11. Name cannot resemble the name of any fictional character with which either of us has ever had a negative reaction in either print or other media. “You want to name our son Marvolo?”

As you can see, it is frank miracle that we were able to reach an agreement on these names. Wait a minute….hmmmm…Frank is a good name….like Frankenstein? Frank Stank? No. Never mind.