Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Not to Name the Baby

Many of you have written to ask me if I ever found out the new baby’s name. (See last week’s blog – Color Wise). I did. Her name is Aerin. It’s different. It’s pretty. However, I feel sorry for the child.

There are two divisions in the what-to-name-the-baby camp: those who select unique names and those that select Jacob or Emily. Obviously, because of a lifetime of having to explain my name, as Aerin will probably have to do, I believe parents should select a name from the top 200 “in” names. New situations are not always easy for those of us with monikers that are rarely found in a book of names for a baby.

On the first day of school, my name always drew negative attention to me – usually when I corrected the teacher’s mispronunciation of my name. Today, if it’s not important, I no longer correct people. If I’m listening for my name to be called, I respond to Etta, Ed -a, Edna, Eva, Ida, or Edith. On a rare occasion, a stranger will actually pronounce my name right, with a long e.

Since I’m conditioned to answer anything that remotely resembles my name, yesterday at the doctor’s office, when the nurse called, “Rita,” I stood. Another woman got up at the same time, so I sat down. A minute later, the door opened and this time the nurse called, “Edna.” I went in – without asking the nurse if she sees an “n” on the chart in my first name as I once did.

But, just as having an unusual name can cause adjustment problems, having the “in” name can cause constant confusion, especially in school. My sister once had nine Leslies in one class – 6 boys and 3 girls. In high school, I had five Linda’s in my P.E. class. By the end of the school year, everyone called them by their last name. My gut feeling is that when all those Leslies and Lindas grew up, they gave their children names like Aerin or Eda! And why not. The Edas of the world tend to give our children names such as Charles or Marc.

No comments: