When we are born we are given a name. Our parents select it and we live with it for the rest of our lives. So what’s in a name?
It’s the first thing we tell people when we meet them. It’s printed on our business cards. It’s on our drivers licence. It’s how we find people on Facebook. For our entire lives it is our identifier.
My given names are Susan Mary. My parents are British and, as such, chose traditional names for all of their children. My brother’s names are Andrew Paul and my sister’s names are Cynthia Helen. Not sure how she got the exotic name. You know your from a boring name family when “Cynthia” is considered exotic.
My mom’s name is Jane. Just Jane.
Last week at work I had to contact some clients to follow up on their accounts. A couple of the names I came across were Francois Chevallier and Fantasha Kassam. I imagined Fantasha answering the phone in flowing robes surrounded by candles and exotic looking furniture. Casbah music playing in the background and perhaps a strange animal or bird following her around. Francois probably has his assistant answer the phone for him while he adjusts his ascot in the mirror and pours himself a goblet of red wine. The names, for me, emote images of glamour, mystery and excitement. I lead a fairly sheltered life.
Of course there are also those endowed with what can only be called “unfortunate” names. When my husband lived in Memphis years ago there was a player on the local baseball team named Stubby Clap. I would consider that unfortunate. When I googled unfortunate names their was no shortage. Just to name a few. Dick Assman, Uranius Johnson, Phat Ho and Yolanda Squatpump. I did, for a moment, wonder if some of these were fabricated. But if they weren’t…..whoa. The ability to legally change your name was created specifically for these people.
But maybe….they don’t mind their names. What’s to say that they don’t look at my boring name and think. “How does she live with that name?”
Plenty of famous people who have changed their names for the sake of their careers. Elton John was once Reginald Dwight. Marilyn Monroe was Norma Jean Mortenson. Faith Hill was Audrey Perry. What do you think their parents thought about these changes. Did they wonder why the names that they had pick for their kids weren’t good enough? Faith Hill is a lovely name. But so is Audrey Perry.
If you had an opportunity to change your name, would you? To what? Why? I remember a friend in high school who wanted to change her name to Angie. Who wouldn’t want Mick Jagger signing about you?
It would seem that what’s in a name is different for everybody. The Best Thing in Life is my name. Because it’s my name.