You do realize Bobby will be an adult some day?

07 July 2010
I apologize in advance if this incites people to be pissed that I don't like their child's name or their name or their second cousin twice removed's name.  Don't take it personally, just tell me to fuck off in the comments.  I can take it.  Onward...

I was perusing Facebook and am amazed how the friends of my youth Becky, Jenny, Nikki, Julie, Alli are now Rebecca, Nicole, Jennifer, Julia and Allison.  It's hard to outgrow those childhood nicknames though and I am constantly slipping up.  Happy Birthday Jenny!  Shit.  Happy Birthday Jennifer!  The same with my uncle Jimmy, he is 44 years old, I am pretty sure he's earned the right to be called James.  It's weird for me, but I can't imagine for them it was easy making the switch either. 

Do you just decide when you're sixteen or eighteen that people have to stop calling you Billy and start calling you Bill or William?  What do you do about the people who have been calling you Billy since you were in second grade? 

I am genuinely curious.  I was never a Shelly, a Chelle sometimes, but never a Shelly.  I can not stand it, really the only people ever to call me Shelly without being corrected are my brothers.  I'm not sure why that is and even they don't do it very often now, mostly when they were little.  I always thought Shelly sounded just weird and not me.  At all.  It has always just been Michelle.

When we were choosing Finnegan's name I didn't want something that could be shortened into a babyish nickname that he would have a hard time outgrowing.  His friend Sophie calls him Finny and really, she's four and as one of his best friends she's the only person who should, everyone else can call him Finn if they want something shorter.

Why am I so weird about these baby names?  I will never forget a guy I used to work with who's mother named him Robbie. Not Robert. Just Robbie, legally right there smack on his birth certificate. He had always gone by Rob, but can you imagine sending a resume to a major corporation with Robbie on it?  He was embarassed.  He had his name legally changed to Robert and I was always curious, but never asked him if his mom was pissed that he did so.

I don't get why people do this to their children.  It's as if they can't see past the cute baby to the grown adult that he or she will soon be.  I can't imagine as an adult wanting to date a man named Timmy, Davey, Stevie, or Billy.  I think I would have a difficult time respecting a boss named Angel, or Mercedes, or Miley... unless I was a stripper, but even then.

Oh, and while I'm on a roll here about names, makers of Glee... you suck.  I'm sure since it's a big hit now and your lead male is a Finn, there are likely to be a lot more now than when we named our Finn.  As a Michelle of the late seventies, early eighties I can tell you it blows to be one of 12 other girls {thank you Beatles} named Michelle in your class. Have you met my husband Dave? He suffers from the same problem. 

Just me?  What are your name thoughts?  Did you try to shake your childhood nickname to no avail?  Do you think I'm a lunatic?


BunnyMendelbaum said...

I'm with you mostly here. As a Nikki, Nicole, Nik... I have felt this pain my whole life. Honestly, it doesn't bother me too much. I had a bad habit of introducing myself as "Nicole" but then not answering to it. Now that I've kicked that habit it is easier, but I do have to admit I cringe a little when I have to introduce myself as Nikki. I'm an architect, not a stripper after all.
That being said, I'm not sure when my little brother made the switch from Richie to Rich, but I still catch myself leaving him voicemails for Richie.
We antagonized over the name for our little munchkin and while not everyone is wild for Franca, I love it. No abbreviating, but plenty of nicknames. The primary right now being Franc n Beans. She's not likely to put that on a resume.
I really do feel bad for you about the Glee Finn. I had an unhealthy obsession with giving Franca a unique name. I still have nightmares where Miley Cyrus and that guy from Twilight have a baby and name it Franca. In the dream, I drive to LA wearing an adult diaper and tear up the birth certificate.
There is one Franca people, and she is mine.
(Oh, and also, a city in Brazil.)

Samantha said...

As a child I was always Samantha. Never Sammie and never Sam. Only one aunt could get away with calling me Sam. Over the years, a few friends called me Sam and got away with it. When I got my first real job, my co-workers deemed me Sam because Samantha was just too much of a mouthful. I deal with it, but its not my favorite nickname. I still refuse to be called Sammie for any reason.

When we named our baby, she got a mouthful of a name. Eugenia Roxanne with a last name which is unusual and usually hard for people to pronoune correctly. We named her after both grandmothers. We call her Roxy for short. She may grow out of it, but I am thinking her big girl name will probably be Roxanne. Eugenia is a lot and even that grandmother has shortened it to Jeannie. We will see.

At least we know it is unique to her. I didn't want her to be one of 12 classmates with the same name and be continuously known as "First Name Last Initial" as all the Ashleys were in my school.

Jen said...

I can't actually think of any HS/elementary friends who went by diminutives when we were younger(including me; I was Jennifer until grad school), but my college friends who did made the switch when they started college - they just introduced themselves by whatever they wanted to be called. Some of their HS friends still call them by their nicknames; some don't.

I guess technically I went the other way since I now primarily go by Jen except in formal work-related situations. I'm going to argue that Jen is not the same as Jenny, though (and heaven help the person who calls me Jenny...even as a kid I'd correct that in a hurry), even if it is a diminutive of Jennifer and Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office would disagree with me (although, again, I go by Jennifer or my title at work, so maybe I do agree with the book...).

~*Jess*~ said...

I think the exact same way about names. I thought a lot about what Ava could be nicknamed, what her initials would be stuff like that. I always think, how the hell professional is a name like Perfecta (Perfect in Spanish) or Candy or some other name like that that just sounds trashy.

The only time I ever went by Jessie was in first grade--because there were 3 of us in the same class.

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

I understand your point - but I love the idea of a name that can grow with a person. But maybe that name change should happen when they're in high school or before college so people don't get stuck with one or the other.

And I hate to say it, I totally think of Glee when you mention your son's name. :( I'm sorry. :(

Mommy Lisa said...

Did you ever read my post about why I call my baby Boo Boo La La on my blog?

Try being Lisa Ann born in 1967. My parents got an F- for creativity in naming me on this Facebook application.

I TOTALLY agree with you on this post!

Mommy Lisa said...

Oh and I was told to say these words before a childs name. "Supreme Court Justice_____________." If it sounds dumb, pick another name. ;)

Mommy Lisa said...

And my brother HATES being called Peter. He says PETE - even his blog is The Pete. :)

I have a lot to say about names apparently.

Michelle said...

OMG Lisa, that is PERFECT! Supreme Court Justice _____. This is why you rock.

And Jessica, I totally agree with you on the growing thing, it's one thing to call a toddler by a cute nickname, it's quite another for a grown man and when do you make the switch?

becky said...

I've always been Becky. Rebecca sounds too formal to me. I don't plan on using it, even though it's my given name.

belles♥mom said...

I personally have never minded being called Nikki or Nik, Nickel, Lowry etc, everyone has their own way of saying my name and I like that.
I wish I could say that we agonized over naming our daughter but since I was 5 years old I've wanted an Annabelle and a Mackenzie so there really was no debate. As far as nicknames go we call her everything under the sun from Belle to Annie and I kind of like the versatility, she can decide what she likes best but for now she'll answer to goober (personally I hope she always will).

♥Georgie♥ said...

oooooo me ooooo my LOL...welllll my full name is Georgina I was teased something awful as a kid having that family and HS friends call me wasnt until I attended college and the professors dont ask what you want to be called they just call you by your legal name....I made friends during college and it felt weird correcting them when they called me it stuck...
Then i became a waitress and they called me george and georgie and well that stuck LOL

Now when i had abby my mom realllly wanted me to name her abigail BUt I was NOOOOOO what if she hates her name and has to go through life saying "I go By Abby" like I did so I named her just Abby...well guess what...EVERYONE thinks her 'real' name is Abigail so they call her Abigail LMAO!!!!

with reese it is pretty cut N dri

Now poor Jessica who HATES her name gets called jess,jessie,JJ and jessica she wants to change her name to Presley Faith LOL

This was a GREAT I could completely relate too!!!

I love getting your posts via email but I see i am a few posts late LOL I got some catchin up to do!

Kathie said...

Great post, so much truth. My mom named my sisters Rebecca & Sandra. All their life, they've been called Becky & Sandy. Okay...that's their choice, no biggie, it works. But I'm Kathie. I get called Kat, Kate, Kath and Kathryn. No one believes that I'm truly just Kathie. It's not a bad name, but please, people can't even spell it right even when they get the pronounced right. :) At least I'm not named Candy like my poor sister in law.

Amy said...

I can totally relate! My husband's name is Andrew and grew up as Andy to all of his family and friends. When I met him, some of his college friends had started calling him Drew. I asked him which he preferred and he didn't really care. Since I preferred dating an adult--Drew was the way to go! He's made the switch pretty smoothly over the years. Some of his aunts and uncles still call him Andy. Me--I'm stuck with the ever popular 70s name Amy. There is no hope for me!

Laura Lynn said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

This is funny - I always think about names. We named all of our kids with names that would be recognizable by their first name only. With common names like ours,Laura and Jon, we wanted theirs to stand out. So far it has worked and they all like their names.

We did the "And starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks,_______________." or "Please rise for the Honorable______________"

I love the name Finn but our friends 6 year-old is named Finn so we didn't use it.

Great post - love your blog!


Candace said...

Great stuff. I too didn't want to name my children anything that could be shortened. We named our boys Quintin (could be Quin, but hasn't happened yet, which I'm more than happy with) and Roman.

I think if you're going to name your child something and then automatically shorten, you may as well just name him/her that shortened name. But then, I also agree that I wouldn't want to name my child Bobby and have him be Bobby for his entire life.


Ricki said...

My given name is Ricki (I'm a woman), and as a child everyone was forever asking me "isn't that a boy's name?". I hated it.

So when my first child was born I gave her the most ordinary girls name I could think of at the time (1993), Ashley. Would I do it again? Not likely, but I was 19, what did I know?

12 years later I had my second child (because I'm a planner like that), and we named her Rebekah. Her nick name is Bekah, never Becky. She wouldn't even look at you if you said Becky, it just doesn't fit her personality.

I've grown to like my name now, but people ask me all the time what it's short for.

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