Monday, December 27, 2010

Picking a name, revisited

My apologies to my Facebook friends who have already seen this... It was a FB note/essay, but I just waved my magic wand and POOF it's a blog post! Ooooo, ahhhh! This was written at week 29 of my pregnancy, so right around this time last year. 

Of course, the cat's out of the bag now. "The Name" I mention towards the end of this post was, in fact, Lindsey. Matt predicted very early on that we would end up using that name, and he was right (dammit). I'll admit that I was hoping to find something a little quirkier, but name selection is often about compromise. Having a name that we both loved became more important than making a statement with an offbeat choice. And we do both LOVE Lindsey's name.

That being said, I'm keeping my nameberry account open so I can keep adding to my Favorites lists. It's an addiction at this point. And who's to say I couldn't talk Matt into Liesel, Tessa or Brennan next time around? (Yes, I love all three of those. Shut up.)

Thanks for coming with me as I look back. Here's where I was a year ago...

The Precious.
A couple things about the name selection process:
1. No, we have not picked out a name yet.
2. We won't be revealing the name until after she's born anyway. 
3. There are maybe 842,000 names out there and I am, and always have been, incredibly indecisive. It took me six months to name my cat when I was a kid. I am petrified of naming my "favorite" anything. This... could take a while.

*Sigh* No, we don't have a name picked out. No, ultrasound tech; no, hair stylist; no, stranger at Banana Republic: we don't have a name yet. 

My standard response to the name question is "well, I'm working my way through the name book, but so far I'm only up to __ (whatever letter I'm on)." Occasionally, some kind soul will nod and say something encouraging. More often, I get stares of disbelief. "You're going through the WHOLE alphabet??" Um, yes? A lot of people seem to have had a breeze of a time selecting a name and don't see why I'm making it so hard. Apparently this is something that I should have decided the instant I found out I was pregnant, if not before.

And then one day, reality TV made me feel slightly less alone. There is a show on TLC that I kind of love called "Say Yes to the Dress." Basically, you watch starry-eyed brides shop for wedding gowns they can't afford at Kleinfeld's in New York. (I highly recommend it for the footage of the pretty pretty princess dresses, but not if you'll be pissed off by comments like "I want to spend, I don't know, between four and 10 thousand? Unless the dress is REALLY amazing, then we can go over 10." --actual quote from the show) 

One bride came to the shop having already tried on about 100 dresses, and proceeded to try a few dozen more. She left without one. In her parting interview, she said "How will I know it's the right dress until I've seen ALL the dresses?"

EXACTLY. I wanted to fly to New York, run into Kleinfeld's and tackle-hug my decision-making soul sister out of gratitude. 

How will I know it's the right name until I've seen all my options? Not to mention the fact that naming a child is a lot more complicated than picking out a dress. The kid will be stuck with this name her entire life. It needs to be adorable but still strong, quirky but not too weird, familiar but still memorable, and come with at least one really great nickname option. 

Complicating things further is the fact that Matt and I both have to love the name. He's been a little frustrated with my name indecision so far. Years ago, we had one of those hypothetical baby name conversations and stumbled upon a girl's name that we both liked. I mentally filed it away as "a name we both like," but I guess Matt filed it as "The Name We Will Use." He was disappointed to learn that it may or may not be. Like I told him: it's still in the running, but it's got to earn it. It has to beat every other name out there. How bad do you want it, Name? Are you here to make friends or are you here to win??

And so, like the crazy reality-show bride, I keep looking. Slowly, the bookmark in my Baby Name Bible moves a little closer to the Z's. Eventually we'll arrive at a great name. I'll let you know... after she gets here.

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