My wife is pregnant, and we’re down to the dirty business of coming up with names. Because I am such a strong proponent of democracy, I’m going to open the process up and listen to opinions and take suggestions. And since I am a Democrat, I am going to ignore any of the suggestions you give that I don’t like, and go forward with what I was already going to do anyway (hey, that smarts!). Here are our selections so far.
If it’s a girl:
Aayan (after Aayan Hirsi Ali), or Dorothy (after Dorothy Parker). Two women that I admire immensely, whose names are appealing to me for different aesthetic reasons.
Aayan is appealing because It’s unusual. We live in the Midwest, I and I expect my daughter will be able to get some cache out of such an exotic name. It’s also a very pretty name. Dorothy is appealing because it sounds like an old lady’s name, and everyone I have run it by as a possibility has cringed. For some reason I like that it’s an old lady’s name, and I’ve always enjoyed making people cringe.
There’s really no possibility of this, but just for shits and giggles I’ve considered telling all of my conservative family members that I’m going to name our baby ‘Hope Change Troxell’. The cringe factor on that one would be off the charts.
I think my wife and I have reached a consensus on a middle name for a girl. My wife’s middle name is Elizabeth, and we thought we’d pass that down. Men are always passing their family names down, so we thought we’d pass my wife’s name down to our third child. It also has the benefit of being a family name. So far, each of our two kids is named after an author and a family member. Either girl name would go pretty well with Elizabeth.
My wife hasn’t settled on a girl name yet.
If it’s a boy:
Harlan (after Harlan Ellison), or Henry (after no one in particular).
Harlan was my selection, Henry was my wife’s. I like both. My qualm with Henry is that we’re not naming him after an author that either of us would want to name a kid after. I like some of Henry Miller’s work, but really, do you want to name a kid after Henry Miller? I’m a fan of William James, but haven’t read any of Henry’s stuff. The best thing I think I might be able to tell Henry after he is born was that he was named after Indiana Jones.
Harlan is an awesome name, and Harlan Ellison is an awesome writer. He’s a crank, sure, but not in a way that I find offensive. We’re not sure about a middle name for a boy yet. We were thinking about Cleo, to name him after my grandfather, but my grandfather doesn’t even like that name.
A lot of people have been saying they hope we have a girl, because we’ve already got two boys. I’m happy either way, but foresee new challenges with a girl. It seems to me that men in our society like to have lots of opinions about how women should behave, and I am wary of allowing any future daughter of mine to be raised to be a princess or a housewife. I half-joke that I hope she’s a lesbian, and I have already promised a pair of teeny tiny combat boots as her first pair of shoes.
More on all of this later.