Friday, March 12, 2010

What's In a Name? Part 2: What is up with people!

So this week actress Rebecca Gayheart and her husband actor Eric "McSteamy" Dane released the name of their new bundle of joy. Her name is Billie Beatrice Dane. No word on the source but before her birth Dane had told the press that her name was "right down the middle" not exceptionally normal but not way out there either. I happen to agree and I think it's a beautiful name.

But some people don't. A lot of people. But instead of just saying congratulations and smiling, they are voicing their opinions loud and clear about what Gayheart and Dane "should" have named their baby girl. And they feel free to do this because of the internet.

I think the internet has give too many people the right to think they can be rude and when they start being rude here, it spills over into personal interactions. I have been hearing this loudly lately regarding baby names.

While a name someone, anyone chooses, for their child may not be one that you or I pick, we should be gracious when hearing it or reading it. I have heard names that some of my best friends have picked that I hate. That I would NEVER choose in a million years, but the name means something to them or they like it, so I would never think to say anything like "you're going to name your kid that?" Similarly, I don't offer suggestions readily. If someone asks me what I think of a name I'm not fond of, I ask if they are considering it and try to think of some positives. I might tell them that the name doesn't fall in my top 10, but if it's a name they really like they should keep it.

I hated when people would ask me the names we picked out for our kids as we have been known to change our minds and most of my friends and family, are not shy about telling you how they really feel and I'm not having it! I remember on a trip to my family physician while I was pregnant (I had developed a sinus infection) with Shelby, he asked me who my ob was (she had delivered his fourth it turned out) and if we had chosen to find out the sex (NOT what the sex was). When I told him we did not know the sex he smiled and said, "Good for you! It's a great surprise," and then went on to add, "and you know not to tell anyone the names you picked out until AFTER the baby is born and if you can wait till it's on the birth certificate, do it then." I kept to both of those much to the dismay of everyone I knew.

I think that doctor's advice is prudent in regards to the name. Especially if your family and friends are like mine. No one needs to know or have an opinion ahead of time. I realize that people may want to get you a personalized gift, just let them know it will need to be a christening or after the baby is born one. Trust me, the personalized gift thing is a great way for someone to bully you into giving up your name. They don't "need" the name and they certainly don't "need" to give you a personalized gift!

But back to people's rude comments. I am often taken about by comment boxes on the internet and want to ask people if they are only saying these things because it is a celebrity who probably won't read the comment anyway and they can do it under the anonymity of the internet or if they would say these hurtful things to a person they loved's face. Sadly, I don't ask because I know the answer most of the time, is they would.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

We dont critize names. Although, I will admit people who have ridiculous spellings that make no sense phonetically drive me nuts.

I got some snide comments about my daughter name when she was born, and some subtle jabs the first year. Růženka isn't exactly the most common name:) But, it is beautiful if you learn to say it right. Once we moved to the Bohemian Alps:) everyone we knew could say it correctly, and loved to say it. When we take Ru to school events she knows everyone even though shes not the most verbal child everyone says "Hi Růženka" I think people just like saying her name:)

The only draw back is that I heard some of the parents were trying to figure out where we were from (obviously, they are commuters not natives of our little czechland) they couldnt figure out what country we were from.....um, we're from America, her name is a family name:)