Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name?

As humans, sometimes we work hard when we have to name things. We look on the Internet and buy name books. We try to choose a name that won't be associated with something or someone disagreeable. But no matter how hard we try, it would seem that someone is always going to have something to say about the name we chose.

For my own children, it went like this: God told me Sam's name, so there wasn't much comment on it. When I announced Maribeth's name before she was born, one person said, "Well, let's hope it's a boy." When I announced Molly's name before she was born, one person said, "But that's a boy's name." Whatever - I still named them the names we chose.

Teaching in an inner city middle school introduced me to a whole new world of names. I had students with names I couldn't pronounce. Even when I attempted to sound the names out, I still had it wrong - and was promptly corrected. For the first few weeks of the school year, I would have names phonetically written beside the name so I could remember how to say it. My students were named by embellishing the name of someone else - sometimes with very creative results.

We've had pets with a huge variety of names. We've had an Opie (short for Oprah) and her mate Andy (from the Andy Griffith show). We've had a DD (for darn dog), a Dixie, a Hoytense (because Hoyt, the man who gave her to us told us she was a he), a Steve McGarret (back in the Hawaii 5-0 days), and others names too ridiculous to remember. For a while all our cats' names had to begin with an S.

But with all the wild and crazy names that I've come across, today topped the list. As I was working registration at the Country Music Marathon, a lady handed me her form. I looked at her name on the sheet and on her driver's license and tried to sound it out. I looked and looked again, and finally figured it out - her name was Tarantula. I confirmed her name, and she said that I was correct. Tarantula. As much as I wanted to hear the story behind her name, I decided to leave it alone - I'm sure she's told it enough.

So, keep naming those kids and pets and whatever else you wish to name. You can even try to be creative. But I just don't know you will ever top naming your sweet baby girl "Tarantula."
Things that make today great: CMM Expo and co-volunteers; helping runners at registration; seeing Neighbor Ned; picking up Lindley at daycare; burgers at the Doik with Steve, Maribeth, Sam, Lynnette, Lindley, Brad, and Matt; meeting with remodel dude and Molly

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