“How about this, are you ready? ‘Larry, Darryl and Darryl’!”
…and variations thereof. So goes a boilerplate conversation I inevitably have with someone, somewhere nearly every day.
But, for Carey and I, it’s serious business. After all the screwball suggestions, at the end of the day, we always have to return to the drawing board and get serious: these people need to be called something.
You probably picked up from the previous entry that we’re not saying anything about names we’re considering. To be honest, we’ve really not even said much about names we’re not considering. Multiple reasons for this, but, to cut to the chase: we’re more or less assuming that people aren’t going to like what we come up with and we’d just as soon not give the h8ers a chance to h8.
Everyone thinks, Oh, you’ve gotta do a theme. Make ’em all rhyme or start with the same letter or spell something sweet when you put ’em together! Or name them after something crazy, like Donald Duck’s nephews! But it should be funny! MAKE SURE IT’S FUNNY.
I’m not sure what it is about triplets, but everyone thinks their names need to be hilarious for some reason. “Little men, your very existence is absurd and you shall be named accordingly.”
Another comment I hear a lot: “you’re probably so tired of getting suggestions from everyone.” Not at all. But there are ways to suggest and ways not to suggest.
Here’s a helpful guide:
It’s made us think a lot about our personal style, though. What sorts of names are us? It helped to start to figure out the sorts of things we didn’t want and work from there:
(Aiden, Lucas, Gavin, Dylan, Connor)
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of these. In fact, don’t take my word for it, just ask millions of American kids born in the last several years. It’s great to have a popular name. But, for us, if it shows up on a Top 20 Baby Name list anywhere, executive decision, we’re taking a pass. (True story, when we thought we might have a girl or two in the mix, I fought for “Abigail”, after the Magnetic Fields song. Carey wasn’t hip and she finally pulled the trump card: an online baby list of popular names in 2011. Number 8: Abigail. I conceded defeat.)
(Noah, Elijah, Caleb, Benjamin, Ethan)
Certain Bible names rise and fall in popularity, but Bible names as an institution will never go out of style. I’m not sure what it is, but I could never picture myself saddling my offspring with anything out of Scripture (even though, it’s true, my own first and middle names are biblical). I can’t really give you a good reason, it just appeals to me about as much as giving them a Muslim name or a Buddhist name.
Names That Aren’t Names
(Silvery Blu, Apple, Surprise, Marshmallow Courage)
Probably self-explanatory here, but there’s a part of me that kind of applauds a parent who’s willing to name their kid something on the outrageous side. I mean, really, what’s so much more masculine and inspiring about an “Aiden” than an “Apple” anyhow? But, questions of adding to a child’s tribulations aside, it’s just not us to goof out like that.
We don’t like rhyme-y names and we’re skeptical about alliteration. We’re definitely not doing a theme and there’s no way in hell we’re going to try to get cute or funny.
So what’s left?
Well, we do like old names, classic names. Artists or authors or fictional characters that have inspired us, we’re into that. Song titles or evolved versions of something nearly forgotten… there’s sort of a romance there. Historical activists or places we’ve never been, all fair game. Also, while we’re dreaming, I think we’re into the idea of not picking a name that’s typically tied to a specific ethnicity.
Me, I made a decision early on, which has frustrated Carey a little, but I can’t help it. It has to mean something to me personally. There has to be a certain serendipity to a name, a connection to something that’s meant a great deal to me at one point or another. It’s not enough for it to just sound good. I need to anchor myself to it.
I know, I know. Yeesh.
Carey, admittedly, is content with something that has a nice ring to it. But don’t be fooled, she’s not so easy to please either. We’ve got three firsts and three middles to come up with and it’s been a struggle. We’ve honed in on a few candidates that we’re very fond of, but we’re letting it marinate a little.
But we also laid down the rule early on: either one of us has 100% veto power over any suggestion. Translation: if we’re not both completely in love with it, it’s out.
All that’s to say, maniacal standards aside, we genuinely are happy to hear suggestions. We’ve got a lot of people to name, after all, and absolutely nothing’s set in stone as far as we’re concerned. And you can see why.
So, lay ’em on us, people. We don’t have all summer, here.