Romanticizer and Geek-in-Residence


My daily obsession.

by Lauren

As you might or might not know, I’m expecting a baby girl at the end of January.  This is a joyful and exciting time.  It is also slowly  sending me insane, thanks to my gripping indecisiveness over what to name this child.


At first, before knowing the gender of the baby,  I had this tidy, little list for girl names.  It was hardly a list. It was like two names. Two unusual, charming, not-too-weird names.  I should have just let it rest at that.


Once I found out we were definitely having a girl, it was like I was a starving person at a potluck.  Why stop at two options when there was THIS option and THAT option and a whole smorgasbord of unknown other options that could be THE best of all, if I just kept looking?

So now my list has ballooned to something overwhelming and unmanageable.  I add to it every day.  I visit obsessively, reviewing the popularity rankings and meanings of everything I consider.  My criteria is obnoxiously stringent, yet somehow that hasn’t winnowed things down for me.

So in case you’re wondering, the name has to be:

Classic:  nothing that’s been  invented in the past 40 years or so. The name has to have some history to it and a ring of familiarity.

Unusual: remember when there were like, 8 Sarahs in your class, and 20 Jessicas in your grade? Hell,  I was one of at least 4 Laurens in my college dorm.  I don’t want my kid to suffer that horrible, horrible fate.

Pretty: while I’m drawn to certain names, like Imogen, Gretchen, or Ingrid, and certainly love them on other people, there is something a little guttural and harsh about them, and try as I might, I don’t think I can look down at my new baby girl and give her a name that has those qualities. I didn’t know I’d be this way, but I kinda need the name to be…well…PRETTY.

Lacking and weird or negative associations I have in my weird-ass brain: this is what really screws me over.  Because you could look at the three above requirements and think that it would leave a great swath of great names to choose from…and it sort of does. But I’ll tell you right now, 90% of the names I hear of or see just don’t cut it.  Don’t tell me I should consider Viola (I think of the instrument), or Sylvia (I think of saliva and someone who is kind of evil), or suggest Cora (I just see an apple core, people).  My insane mind makes strange connections and suddenly these perfectly lovely monickers are off the table.


Anyway, any suggestions are welcome and appreciated…not to say I won’t probably shoot them all down due to my obnoxious rules listed above.