I am not entirely thrilled with my name either. My name was not purchased but neither was it derived from anyone or anything significant. My mother simply liked the name “Kate”. She also liked the name “Annie” so I suppose things could have been worse for me. Growing up, whenever someone called me “Katherine”, assuming that no one truly has a one syllable, unimaginative name like “Kate” on their birth certificate, I didn’t correct them. Sometimes I even made up other, exotic, multi-syllabic names for myself. And without a doubt, even now at an age when my ovaries threaten to dry up like raisins and fall out of my uterus, I envision making up for my mother’s lack of creativity by saddling my children with the sort of name I was never bestowed.
For years, I swore my daughter(s) would be Rowan and Rhiannon (yes, like the Fleetwood Mac song). Now I have settled (quite firmly) on the following: Gypsy Evangline, Madeline Evangeline, or Gypsy Lila. Gypsy for my heritage, Madeline for my mother’s middle name, and Evangeline and Lila for no other reason than I like them. Of course, any combination of these names sound like stage names of a performer in a Burley-Q but that really only makes me like them more.
If I ever have a son—although for some reason, I don’t see that in my future unless I adopt— I may throw the father a bone and allow him a say in the name albeit I have always been fond of the name “Christian” while also wanting to tip my hat to my Jewish heritage with something blatantly ‘heeb. I liked “Levi” but a cousin recently claimed that for her own son’s name so perhaps something along the lines of “Christian Judah”. How contradictory. How interesting. How my son will need to begin kung fu lessons by the age of five in order to defend himself on the playground.
Oh yes, my children—should I have any—will suffer under their mother’s eccentricities and melodrama. My father knew this the moment I began naming the family pets names that he could neither remember nor pronounce: “You want to name the cat Katchalia Moonchild?” he joked, “My poor, poor grandchildren…”
May G-d someday grant me the blessing of bearing a brood of my own so that I may shave my son’s hair into a faux-hawk, doodle temporary tattoos on my daughter, and brand them all with outlandish names.