Doubt lineage is in my loins, but the annual list of “Top Baby Names” intrigues me. Forget the fresh batch of “Obamas” soon to prophesize on the playground, kid naming is a touchy art.
While pregnant and anticipating a girl at last, my Mom wanted to name me Jill. Dad however, after catching a drive in flick featuring an actress whose last name I’ve never known, insisted on Jocelyn (the name on my birth certificate). Mom lost and I won. J-I-L-L. Four sad little letters, no spice, no sauce. And when “Charlie’s Angels” hit in the 70’s I'd have been the fat duckling saddled with the same moniker as hot, blonde and toothy Jill Munroe.
I hated my name in grade school. There you want to fit in, be a Jill, and a regal name stood out like the kid who smelled of pee. Dad oddly nicknamed me Jodie (not much of a save, thanks to “Family Affair") and it stuck. Then Dad returned to Jocelyn and only he called me that the rest of his life.
Years back, I worked retail a short time with a wisp of a hippie girl who found herself unexpectedly pregnant. She told me sweetly if the baby was a girl she was naming her Jocelyn; a boy, Jodie. Never forgot that. She lost the baby soon after. Funny how we touch people in passing, and vice versa.
I've thought about names of my kids, imaginary as they are. For a girl or boy top is Lux after the late Lux Interior and a female character in The Virgin Suicides. Or Sydney for a girl, shortened to Syd. Either hip creative cuteness or lesbian in the making. Other girl names are Beatles inspired - Sadie and Astrid. But I’ve already bestowed those to furry companions, the kind that poop in a box.
Kash premieres this year on the boy list. Hells yeah. Should I solo adopt or go the turkey baster route, meet my son Kash Kash. I’d slip an Elvis into middle slot in a hunka hunka burnin' heartbeat. Boys need strong names, no Les or Willy. John Cusack got it right in The Sure Thing.
Gib: You're gonna name the kid Elliot? No, you can't name the kid Elliot. Elliot is a fat kid with glasses who eats paste. You're not gonna name the kid Elliot. You gotta give him a real name. Give him a name. Like Nick.
Gib: Yeah, Nick! Nick's a real name. Nick's your buddy. Nick's the kind of guy you can trust, the kind of guy you can drink a beer with, the kind of guy who doesn't mind if you puke in his car, Nick!