Tuesday, June 19, 2007

That Which We Call a Rose

Word comes to me that there is standup comedian/magician with my same name making the rounds of New York, doing the sort of damage typically wrought by people who call themselves standup comedians/magicians and soiling my good name. A lifetime of living with a name so ridiculously common that at times I think I’d be better off being referred to by a number or bar code has made it so that these mixups aren’t surprising—there was a particularly annoying incident with my Burger King Kids Club membership as a child that cemented my MickeyD’s loyalty for a lifetime, if only to avoid the red tape—but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get a little curious about the other namesakes out there, and feel in competition with them. After a lifetime of username rejections and the ensuing replacement “suggestions” that go with them—I’d rather not have my Amazon login read like Cathy swearing at her fridge—I managed to score a coup in getting my first and last name as a gmail address, putting me at the top of the rankings and sending a fuck-you to the other Rubber Buns and Liquors of the world. As an added bonus, I often receive their emails, and I feel secure that their lives are not as interesting as mine, most likely due to the downward spiral caused by the loss of their preferred Google login.

Sucks for you, but sucks even worse for people named jch337ds.

You can tell a lot about a person by which shortened variation of their name they pick. Johns that stay Johns aren’t nearly as much fun to drink with as ones that become Jacks, and Elizabeths that become Lizzes are much less likely to be caught reading their boyfriend’s incoming text messages than ones that become Ibbys and Betsys. Mine is as it is for brevity/ease in barking, so that if something heavy is falling towards me, I have a slight millisecond head start on getting out of the way (downside being that I also answer to the word “genocide”). My full name being the result of two highly unsentimental people who accidentally mixed their DNA at a young age—I’m half surprised I wasn’t named after the nearest object in my father’s line of vision as he filled out the social security form—I’ve always had a fascination with names and how they shape a person, and vice versa. Is a girl named Lola because her parents were certain of her genetic blessing, or did the societal pressure of being hot enough to be worthy of the name Lola shape her physical appearance? Do men named Sully tropistically punch immoveable objects, or is it a learned behavior that comes from being surrounded by the type of men that hang out with guys named Sully?

Now disappointing in Christmas stockings near you!

Emily- Stop naming your kids Emily. The market is saturated. I cannot describe to you the heartbreak of being a young girl who is unable to get pencils or miniature license plates with your name on them. If my childhood were a sad French movie, it would just be 60 silent minutes of a small brunette child staring at a sign that says “Out of stock”, and then she’d light a cigarette and the screen would go black.

Grace- A gorgeous name, which somehow got hijacked by the Asians. I was OK with the fact that they look damn near immortal and their mp3 players are smarter than I am, but losing “Grace” was sort of the last straw for me .

March/April/May/June - There seems to be an unspoken rule against naming a child after the month they’re born in, but what about the month they were conceived in? I think that’s probably the best way to teach your children about contraception.

Jane- If one were to do a highly unscientific psychological probe of women named Jane, they could probably pinpoint the exact moment at which issues began to form as that in which the other schoolchildren learned the phrase “Plain Jane”, and Janes the world over began to act out against the rhyme through various bodily mutilations, fornications, and general sass. I’ve always thought an interesting addendum to the study would be to measure the amount of rebellion between attractive girls named Jane and ugly girls named Jane, for whom “plain” is actually an upgrade.

Sarah- Sarahs are rebelling against the book “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” so they’re much like Janes, only slightly sluttier.

Clyde- Started off as the go-to name for geeks, but then the black man went and surreptitiously took this one over. It’s still a damn geeky name, but I’m much less likely to raise that point to a cruiserweight than my IT guy.

Jason- Good God, are there a lot of gay men named Jason. I assume this is due to the ease with which children figure out the childhood taunt of “Gay-son”.

Harry- What a good guy Harry is. Everyone knows and likes Harry. If I were named Harry, I would spend the first part of my life trading in on this, then I would rob (Rob) all my friends blind and move to another city. Let the other Harrys of the world make up for it.

William and Richard- I wonder if somewhere back in the lineages of medieval kings, a decree was made that no male name can have amongst its variations/shortenings more than one euphemism for the male penis. I would think so, because I have a hard time keeping a straight face every time I say “Bill”, and no one else seems to notice.

Kyle- Douchebag name. No reason.