Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Varying Methods

There comes a time during every pregnancy when you realize that you have to actually name the child.

I don't mean like when you were in college and doodling your first name with his last name and then in smaller writing practicing your future children's names with his last name. Nor do I mean like when you were watching that movie that one time and heard a name that you thought was super badass and you filed it away for a later date, like when you were married and were going to have kids and obviously your husband would agree to this name because it was that badass.

I mean like when you have to name another person.

A person that will grow up and go to school and hopefully not get teased because of the name you chose. A person that will go to college and then graduate and get a job and have to be an adult with the name that you chose.

It's intense.

The other thing to think about is how much you really like the name. Enough to say it constantly? Once upon a time, I moved to Indiana to be with my boyfriend (now husband). I moved from grad school with $400 in my bank account and an SUV full of my belongings. Clearly I moved for love, not the job opportunities, and I ended up working at Columbia House (the mail order dvd company... because I am that cool) taking orders on the phone all day. Well, at Columbia House, everyone gets to pick a "stage name" so that there is only 1 person with that name in the entire place. Not realizing how often I'd have to say my fake name, I picked Gianna.

It sounded cute enough; just a bit exotic and yet miles away from Kate. Except then I had to say it upwards of 150 times a day. Hi, thank you for calling Columbia House, Gianna speaking.

Gi-aan-a. Three long syllables. Now fundamentally, there's nothing wrong with it. I just hated saying it, over and over and over.

The moral of the story? I knew that when we named Baby Girl, we had to really try out the names before settling on one because once it's on the birth certificate, there's no going back.

So how did we settle on a name? First, we started an excel sheet with a list for boy names and a list for girl names. We added every single name either of us had ever liked. The lists were very long. Then we each got a turn at the lists, crossing off anything we didn't immediately like with no arguement from the other person.

After the list was narrowed down to our top 18 girl names and top 2 boy names (we just couldn't agree on boy names), we waited to find out what we were having.

When we found out it was a girl, we revisited the girl list and put each name to the test.

We each had our own test. Mine was simple - did the name roll off the tongue nicely and did I want to say it multiple times a day? You really can't tell just from looking at the name on paper. you have to say it. So multiple times a day I'd yell up the stairs "Hey so-and-so, breakfast is ready." Or I'd say it to the dog "Marley, what's so-and-so doing?"

My husband, however, had a different method for deeming a girl name acceptable.

His main concern? Did it sound like a porn star and/or stripper name.

So he went down the list of names and tried each one the exact same way:

"Welcome to the stage so-and-so"

Except he'd say it in a creepy stripper announcer voice. Many names were crossed off via this method and he's quite proud of himself for saving our child from a lifetime of ridicule for having a stripper name. It's quite sweet, really.

But know what's even harder than picking a name? Picking a name and keeping it a secret :-)


Justine said...

Oh my gosh! I had to laugh out loud because for the looooooooooongest time my top girl name was Aurora. When I mentioned this to Jon when we were like 17 he immediately told me it sounded like a stripper's name, and so now I can't hear that name without thinking that. Too funny!! What were some names your husband veto-ed because they were too "stripper-y"?? :)

Jamie-Lee said...

Thats too funny! We are struggling with boy names. The girls name wasn't too bad but the "Striper Test" was done on all the girls names! LOL

Good luck with finding a name!

Mrs. Grant said...

Goodness 18 names!! We had 1. 1 perfect name. Good luck keeping it a secret!!!

The Alexander Family said...

Super cute blog! We had a 3 month old on our 1 year anniversary. I got pregnant on our honeymoon! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

And the winner is..............??? She will always be MiMi's baby to me. :)

Southern Aunt said...

I don't know, Zelda is sorta growing on me...LOL!!! Can't wait to hear the name...

Heather said...

Love your blog! When we found out we are having a girl, my husband did the same's hilarious and sweet that they care so much! :)

Pollyanna said...

I have a niece named "Amber Lynn" - if only my step sister had known about the "stripper test" . . .

The other struggle is how to spell a name so it isn't mangled everytime someone else tries to pronounce it. I thought I had picked out original names, but not too weird. People have a tendency not to read what is right in front of them. Kat-a-rin-a is not pronounced Ka-tree-na; nor is El-i-an-a pronounced E-lain-a.

Allison said...

Sounds like you have some very sound methodology :) Can't wait to hear the big reveal!

Mrs.LifeAccounts said...

haha, I love your method. Our method was sitting in a car on our way up to New England, stuck in Jersey traffic for HOURS and being bored out of our mind. Every single name we liked, we wrote down and either of us that knew an obnoxious person with that name could veto the other persons suggestion etc. In the end we came up with about 10 combinations for boys and girls first and middle names that we both liked. That was five years ago and nearly all the combinations are still holding strong!

Mrs.LifeAccounts said...

oh and yes, we did the stripper test too!

MayLove said...

@Pollyanna - I TOTALLY agree! I think it's important to have a name that you love, but with the thought of how badly people with butcher it! However, my name it Katie (simple enough right?), and it's still mispronounced all the time. I have it pronounced "cat-tee" "cot-tee" and get called Kathy ALL the time. You just can't fix stupid. Even if you have a simple name it could still be mutilated by people who don't have the sense to read. Question (no intention for judgment or rudeness), why are so many expecting couples SO secretive about the name they choose? Just curious. I don't have kids, so I don't understand their need for secrecy.