How to Win the Baby Name GameSerge Bielanko
Naming babies ought to be a painless thing.
That act of just picking a name out of the clear, blue ether and splashing some hot glue on the back of that sucker and slapping it hard onto the cute and tiny acorn butt of your kid’s very existence for the rest of their lives — and even beyond? Well, all of that used to be simple and easy.
Or, at least, it used to be a helluva lot easier than we’ve made it now.
Back in the day, let’s face it, when it came to picking a lifelong moniker for your brand new bundle of
steaming poop joy, you only had, like, three or four choices to even consider.
You could name the kid after a King or a Queen, or maybe a Princess or some other stiff royal family member who had been dead for so long that no one even remembered whether anyone had even actually liked the person. Or you could name it after a flower, a Greek myth guy or maybe, when all else failed, down a few dozen snifters of homemade pig hoof brandy and just make something up on your own. I mean, how else could we possibly ever explain such freaky yesteryear names as Milquetoast or Onionette or Musketbreath, right?
In a way, certain things were easier for generations past. Back then, you didn’t know whether you were having a boy or a girl, so that right there meant you were a little less “inspired” than people are today. Plus, truth be told, folks were too darn busy churning butter and wrestling goats and trying to keep the snow from freezing their wind-burnt faces off to be at all worried about coming up with a conversation-piece name for the little bottomless porridge pit that had just plopped out of mama’s standing body down into the hay.
Long ago, babies were named out of necessity, not out of vanity.
My, how times have changed.
These days a lot of people spend way too much time and energy playing the Baby Name Game. Lots of new parents have lost sight of tradition in favor of forging new trails, hoping against hope that, after nine months of inner-turmoil and parenting website message board wars, they will ultimately unveil their brand new baby’s chosen name to an Internet full of strangers waiting with bated breath to cheer wildly and heap praise upon the near-blinding brilliance of their revelation.
But, guess what?
The truth is out.
First off, people are laughing at you when you come up with some silly name.
Beyond that, and most importantly, kids don’t want to be named dumb crap like Elusive Sparrow… or Telluride… or Simmer… or Tillothy Titmouse Twice Told. They just don’t. I mean, who would, right?
Is your name all that stylish and awesome? I hate to break it to you, but chances are that it isn’t. Chances are, in fact, that your name kind of sucks. I know, I know. Let that sink in for a second. But don’t get too twisted up about it if you can help it, OK? After all, you’re certainly not alone here. There are lots of us, legions of us even, hovering around your age, having kids of our own right here and now, and most of us are stuck with simple, boring names as well.
Hey, listen. My name is Serge. Serge. Boring? Oh yeah. Functional? Perfectly. Kind of embarrassing? Not at all.
My point, people, is this. Stop the insanity. Stop trying to name your kids goofy stuff . Mostly, because it isn’t fair to them. If you really want to win the Baby Name Game, then you’ve got to get out in front of all this self-absorbed, pretentious madness and just club the whole darn thing right square between the eyes. Just pick up an old fashion oak limb of a name and whack this new-fangled naming plague to the ground before it eats up any more of our young.
Name your kid after your grandpa or your great grandmom.
Name them after dear old Aunt Elizabeth or Uncle Carl.
Heck, name ’em after the best dog you ever knew in your life; naming a kid Spot or Whiskey or Moose is way better than some of these “clever” mistakes that modern parents have been making. Just don’t try and get too crazy with it. Don’t overthink the thing. If a name was good enough for centuries, if it was good enough for loads of babies before any of us was ever even born, then let it be good enough for your kids, too.
Otherwise, mark my words, someday really soon your son or daughter is going to look you two square in the eyeball one morning over coffee and bacon and say the words that no parent anywhere ever ever ever wants to hear.
“Mom, Dad… I’m telling you guys first! But, the thing is…. I’ve got big news, BIG NEWS!!! Guess what?! I’m in love! I’m in love with the greatest person I have ever met in my life! I’m in love with a boy/girl named… (long moment hangs in the kitchen air)… Evidence Free Smith.”
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