The Problem With “Outside Of The Box” Names

When I was growing up, no one had my name. In fact it wasn’t until college that I met someone with my name and she happened to be in my sorority. The reason why this was a problem for me was because when I’d go down to the gift shop with friends named “Sharon” or “Jennifer,” they would smile with glee when they found the Hello Kitty stickers with their name on it or a cute license plate for their bike. My bike had no plate. My sticker album, though filled with puff-ups, had no personalized stickers.

This isn’t a problem for today’s generation. For one, my name is now completely over used and when I go into those gift shops and twirl around a necklace rack to find my bejeweled name on a chain for $9.99 all I can think is ‘Sure, now you’re on the rack.’ And then of course I buy it…

The reason it’s not a problem for today’s generation is because everything is print on demand. So, let’s say you’re obsessed with celebrities and you name your kid Apple, or let’s say you are not obsessed with celebrities and you name your kid Candle.  Here’s the problem. PRONOUNS.

Today I’m going back and forth with AdventureBiz Babe about a website issue that can only be explained by Mercury in Retrograde, and I had to keep re-writing my emails to her in order to work around the lack of pronouns. “Candle” was having an issue with my site. Is Candle a he or a she? I have no idea! In fact, I had no idea how often I refer to people by pronoun until I had to send 4 emails to ABB about Candle! What the frick kind of name is Candle? Which of course got me thinking about dating…

How do you go on a date with Candle or Apple?

Quick aside, I know Sister is going to kill me for this, but I don’t actually know if Apple is a boy or a girl, because I was about to write that I suppose if Apple grows up to look like mommy Gwynny, it wouldn’t matter if her name was Egbert, dating wouldn’t be a problem for her… but then it dawned on me. What if Apple’s a guy? Even if he was the male hot version of Gwynny, I don’t think I could date a guy named Apple. I KNOW I couldn’t date a guy named Candle.

The chick on Sweet Home Alabama, a not so sweet replacement for my Bachelorette withdrawal on the CMT network, has chosen as one of her final two guys a bartender named Tribble. Tribble? Is that a common country name? Because it makes me think of dribble, which makes me think of a college guy barfing when he is so drunk that he doesn’t clean the dribble spit from his chin.

Now I’m dry heaving. Sorry for the gross image… But seriously! How do you have sex with a guy named Tribble? Ladies, if you’re sitting alone at your computer reading this, try re-enacting the diner scene from When Harry Met Sally and call out the name Tribble. And Billy Crystal had a problem with the name Sheldon? Nora Ephron had no idea what was coming in the next two decades.

Are your kids going to be going to movies with characters falling in love named Skyline and Folder? Which one is the guy?

I’m distressed over this! I have a customer based business and I need to know the gender of my client before I get on the phone! What if I assume Polish is a girl and phone ‘her’ up, and ‘she’ has a really deep phone voice so I assume ‘she’ is a guy and make a comment to ‘him’ and it turns out Polish (as in nail polish, because her mother owned a salon) is just a heavy smoker! THAT is bad for business.

And really, what is with the weird names? I can’t get past Candle… why? Why? WHY? On what planet is Candle a good name for a human being? Why name your kid after a fruit?What’s next? Will Apple have a BFF named Grape and a boyfriend named Prune? (btw the most masculine fruit name I could come up with).

Kids are named after cars. We’ve got Porsche and Mercedes. So what happens to the kids who are named Kia and Hyundai? Do they have to sit in the downstairs lunchroom because their sticker value is lower?

What’s next? Household appliances? “Mom, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend, Blender.” You see, not only is the problem that we don’t know the pronoun to use, but we’re depriving kids of the right to nickname. If in 8th grade, Johnny ruins a house party because he knocks over a candle and burns the place down, it’s okay to call the kid Candle, but when he applies for a 6 figure job, you can be sure he’s putting John on his application NOT Candle!

Ironically I have no problem with girls who have boy’s names.. I actually like that even though the pronoun problem exists, but at least they get it. If you’re a girl and your name is Glenn, you’re used to people assuming you’re a guy.

I don’t know. I don’t have kids, so I suppose I shouldn’t judge. My fake name after college when I wanted to blow guys off was Aspen. I created an 80 page bio on Aspen. She’d been conceived in a hot tub in… Aspen. Don’t think it didn’t freak me out when 8 years later I met a little girl named Aspen. I’m convinced her daddy made her mommy name her that because he never got over ‘that girl’ in Brother Jimmy’s with whom he’d fallen head over heals with in a matter of hours, only to discover that Aspen Rey, had given him a fake number.

Since then, I’ve met a number of curly blond Aspens. And while they probably can’t find a bicycle license plate with their name on it, they can certainly order one to be printed on demand on the internet. So what the heck is my problem…

Oh yes, I now have a potential client named Candle and I have no idea if IT is a he or a she!

©2011

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One Response to The Problem With “Outside Of The Box” Names

  1. AdventureBiz Babe says:

    OK, I almost soiled myself when I read this ’cause I was laughing so hard. Seriously, Candle? That’s just nuts. Although…..

    I once met someone who named their kids Teal and Forrest. Um….obsessed with the color green maybe?

    Parents please – Your child’s name shouldn’t be a reflection of your own weird thoughts and hangups. One day, that poor child will have a life….a career……do you really think the person in Human Resources will pass the resume to the high-powered executive when the persons name is Candle???

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