Thursday, December 16, 2004

children's names

First things first: I have no children.

The way things are going, I'm never going to.

But pretty much everyone else does. It's the law where I come from, and apparently, it's built into the psyche and genetic structure of women everywhere.

But what also seems to be built into people is the need to name their children something odd, something distinctive, something no other kid in their grade will be named (of course there are exceptions; I've heard people say that a friend of theirs named their kid Teleste or Anferny or Obsidia, and they just HAVE to name their spawn that too).

I understand that you want your child to be unique, but what you don't seem to be considering is that he or she has to live the next eighteen to ninety years with that moniker.

This is on my mind, I suppose, because Julia Roberts got the world all abuzz by naming her twins Hazel and Phinneus Moder a week or so back. It got me thinking about all the awful names people come up with to be special or offbeat, from the Zappa family to the Phoenix family to people I know.

My best pal named his daughter after a month of the year, and his son after a character in his favourite book. Weird, but it could have been weirder.

I often tell anyone who will listen the drunken tale of my sister deciding what to name her baby. One day, she told me, "I like the name Travis. I think I'll name it Travis if it's a boy. If it's a girl, what do you think of Travisty?" No joke.

Of course, she didn't name the child travesty, but she did purposely misspell the name she did choose, just in case there was another kid with the same name somewhere down the line. We'll get used to it, in time.

My pal's brother, a big Star Wars fan, decided, in 1999 or 2000, to name his baby son Anakin, after the cute little Aryan boy in The Phantom Menace. From what I've heard, he was not even close to alone.

Still, how will it be growing up, for that youth to be named after the burned, cybernetic man who tortured his own daughter, cut off his own son's hand, wiped out the best and brightest the galaxy had to offer, and ruined Return of the Jedi by smirking while being digitally inserted into the ending? It's not even a surprise that Anakin goes bad; why didn't he think about the name before he gave it to his kid?

At least he didn't name the kid Smeagol.

Oh, and what is this insanity of naming your children all with the same letter? It's enough to make Dr. Seuss vomit. Or worse, giving them rhyming names, like Brian and Ryan, Carol and Cheryl, Jan and Dan and Spam? That's only cute in a fairy tale or a preadolescent girl's head, isn't it?

My pal Merrill did the first letter thing, and when he broke the vicious cycle by naming his third child with a different letter than the first two, he was chided for it by his--surely insane--in-laws. Shouldn't he have been complimented? Lauded?

I can guess what you're thinking: How is this any of your business, Rish? How does it hurt you? They're my children, I can do what I want.

And you're right, I guess, it is none of my concern. So name your kid Apple Paltrow if you want to. Name your kid Talullah Belle Willis. Name your kid Pilot Detektor Lee. Name your kid Ezekial Vengeance Is Mine Sayeth The Lord And I Will Repay Bowman for all I care. It's just something I've noticed lately. I guess people get tired of mutilating their bodies with tattoos and decide to start in on their children.

I am not wholly innocent in this, though. If I had my way, I'd name my daughters after a Harrison Ford character and Spider-man's dead girlfriend.

But I should suffer for my thoughtlessness and conceit, not my child. Right?

Rish Outfield

1 comment:

What's she thinkin'? said...

you're right, someone could name thier kid Rish, man.