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Wide White: Don't tell anyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Don't tell anyone!

I have lots of friends who are either pregnant or have had babies in the last year or so. Inevitably, the topic of baby names comes up.

I applaud those of you who refuse to tell anyone the names you're considering. Stay strong! No one else needs to know. Who cares if they hate the name you choose? If you wait until you have your baby, then tell everyone the name, NO ONE will ask you, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You're joking, right? That's a horrible name!" No, they'll say, "Oh, she's so cute!" Sure, they'll change the subject from the name of the baby to the baby itself, and you might get the hint that they're not nuts about the name. And when they leave, they'll whisper to one another, "Can you BELIEVE they used Delilah?!?" And you'll still love your little Delilah.

However, there are those on the other end of the spectrum. You decided on a name just as soon as you discovered the baby's gender, and now you're telling everyone who will listen the name you've chosen. "His name is going to be Donald."

Hold the phones. Never mind that you've now told everyone that you're picking a name that most people associate with a cartoon duck or an obnoxious billionaire with awful hair. You've also given them the opportunity to give you their opinion. All but your very closest friends may keep their mouths shut, but what about your family members? They WILL say something. They won't say it to you at first. Your brother will tell your brother-in-law, who will tell your sister what your brother said. Your sister will tell your mother, who agrees with your brother but doesn't want to tell you. So she'll break it to you by telling you what your brother said.

The fact is, once the birth certificate is signed and you've sent for the social security card, chances are this will NOT come up to your face! And isn't that how is should be?

When a baby name makes me gag, I have two responses, depending on if the baby has been born or not. If the baby has been born, I wait until we're alone and look at my wife in disbelief and say, "Can you believe they picked that name? There MUST be a story behind it! A great-great-great-grandma, perhaps?" And normally, there is. Or there are just eclectic tastes that I don't quite share.

However, if the baby hasn't been born, we'll wait until we're alone, look at each other in disbelief and say, "Can you believe they're TELLING people that they're using that!? Do you think we can convince them it's a bad idea?"

Be smart people. Stay cool and lay low. If you think your little white girl should be LaShaundra, go ahead and name her that. But don't open the flood gates of responses. Unless, that is, you'd like to know what I think about your use of LaShaundra...


Blogger Jeff Burton declared,

I disagree completely. So many people tag kids with horrible, life-crippling names - it's an ego thing about the parent rather than about the child. I think it's much better to "road test" a name before the child is born. It will short-circuit a lot of baby Nimrod's and Jezebel's.

3/23/2008 9:02 AM  
Blogger Carla declared,

We disappointed Grandma 4 times by not telling her until the babes had made their appearance. I love secrets.

What about LaFawnda?

3/23/2008 2:25 PM  
Blogger kristi noser declared,

If I may add my baby-name-two-cents, pick a name they won't have to spell their entire life.
"Mharee" is quite clever, but believe me, spelling it for everyone gets old fast.

3/24/2008 2:51 AM  
Blogger kristi noser declared,

you tryin' to tell us somethin' Joeywhite?

3/24/2008 2:52 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Jeff - I guess if I wanted everyone else's opinion in my baby name, then I'd go with your method too, and I wouldn't argue that there are some who would benefit from that. Maybe I'm arrogant for thinking I'm immune to that, but I don't think it's an ego thing not to tell anyone. There are perfectly good names that people balk at for personal preference, being too common or because of some mean high school classmate, and that's the opposition I don't want to hear.

Carla - flippin' idiot! :)

Kristi - agreed (one of my rules - must be able to spell!) and no! :)

3/24/2008 8:58 AM  
Blogger Carla declared,

Ok. I feel for the teachers these days. How about all of the phonetic spellings for Madeline, Madalin, Madalyne, Madalynne, Madelin, Erica, Ayrica, Arica, Erika, Arika??!!

3/24/2008 9:10 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

I wouldn't use either name, but if you use either name and don't spell them "Madeline" or "Erica", then it's fair to say your kid will spend a lot of time correcting people!

Other names like this...Bryan vs. Brian (sorry Crim!), Jamie vs. Jaime (the second is awful), Katie vs. Katy, and the list goes on...

3/24/2008 9:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa declared,

Hi! I guess I'm a bit late on this one, but I just found your blog today on the Herbergers page...speaking from our experience, no one really gives opinions about baby names. We had two names decided (1 girl name, 1 boy name), people asked, we told, and no one cared...probably the way it should be. Are you picking baby names? :-0

4/03/2008 10:13 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Are we picking baby names? Not exactly, it just comes up a lot, especially with a lot of friends having babies.

And at the end of the day, regardless of the name, you get used to it after a few months. At least with most names you do...

4/24/2008 11:23 PM  

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