Friday, November 17, 2006

The Name Game

Hello, my name is Lisa. That is my real name, although, as you may have guessed, Blah Blah is not actually my legal last name. My husband’s name is really William, but while I refer to my daughter on this blog as Viva, that is not actually her real name.

“Viva” is how Viva pronounced her real name when she was first learning to talk. I thought it was cute, so I started using it on the blog, and thus even when she gradually learned how to pronounce her real name, I just left it as it is, since she is not old enough to understand the concept of a blog and people knowing her real name, so I haven’t asked whether she feels comfortable with me putting it out there.

Viva’s real name is not a complicated one; in fact, it’s a variation on a pretty common name. It’s not spelled in a funky way, like, oh let’s see, Aaleeyeah, or oh, I don’t know, Chrysteena, or something like that. It’s a simple five-letter name.

Why do people not get it?

I just got an e-mail message from my stepsister on the east coast, in which she said, “[Not Viva’s Real Name] must be really big!” I’m assuming she meant Viva, but then again, who knows? She used the wrong name, one which is not now and has never been Viva’s name. It’s like saying, “How’s your husband Raul?” when his name is Rafael. Do you know what I mean? It irks me.

Okay, rant over. Work to be done, and all that. I'm sure I'll feel better once I've finished my coffee and bitten the heads off a couple of bats.*

* Special super-secret message to Cee in SF: Bat manure! Bat manure!


charlotte said...

hi there - I came across your blog via the Randomizer and have really enjoyed reading some of your posts. As to names, and people getting them wrong, I have a friend whose daughter's name is Imogen - in England, this is an old-fashioned but perfectly normal name. In South Africa, where Imogen was born but no longer lives, the reactions to her name were thus: either "Oh, Imagine, what a lovely name" or "I hate these modern made-up names". People can be so strange.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Well, charlotte, if you're still reading even though I haven't posted in lo these many days: Hello! And welcome! And by the way: I like your name.

People are, indeed, so strange about names that when I was pregnant I stopped telling people which names we were considering because they would say stuff like, "[Potential Name]? That's so common/doesn't go with your last name/reminds me of my cranky old aunt! Why don't you name her China? [or something equally irrelevant to me personally] [though I have nothing against the Chinese] Now, that's a nice name!"


Cee in SF said...

MMM, holiday manure. I had a dream about a bat last night. The bat was flying around me and landing on my blanket. Someone grabbed it and got rid of it. It turned out to be a baby with weird eyes.

E. said...

I feel your pain on the name thing. My kid (who is just "O." on my blog, due to some vague paranoia of mine) has a two syllable name beginning with O, a slightly uncommon but not unheard of name, and one that is decidedly not German in origin. (Hint for anyone who really cares to figure it out: think of a well known soul singer. Imagine said soul singer whistling.) But for some reason, people erroneously call him "Otto," not infrequently. What? Very much like the Raoul/Rafael example. My own uncle did this once when O. was 9 months old. Weird!

I think people can be expected to make the effort to learn a kid's name, for God's sake. Particularly family.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Cee: Why are you having weird baby dreams? You are freaking my shit out.

E: Okay, now I want to call him Olaf, even though I know that's not his name. I'm perverse that way. I guess I'll just stick with O.

MaXXL said...

Who? Oh, Yoko.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

MaXXL, I knew you would have to come out of hiding for this one. Smooches!