I am less worried about the prospect of having children than I am about
the prospect of having to name them. I have thought about the naming
issue numerous times and been completely overwhelmed by the number of
potential obstacles brought on by the technology alone.
For example, should I give my children names that are
uncommon so that they will Google well and not be lost in a sea of
other people with the same name? Or is it a better strategy to give a
common name for the exact opposite reason, so that my little darling
does not have to worry about employers finding her MySpace page? But
if it's too common, how is she ever going to get a good e-mail address
without having to attach a string of numbers to it?
And then there are the things I can't control, like what if I
name my child something nice and unique but then 12 years later a porn
star or serial killer or Evangelical leader with the exact same name
becomes famous and makes my child subject to relentless humiliation?
The guilt and shame would nearly kill me, and it would definitely kill
my relationship with said child.
I don't know how I will end up handling this problem, but I
can safely rule out one possibility: using a baby-naming consultant.
Baby-naming consultants were the subject of
this recent Wall Street Journal article, which included the following mind-exploding quotes:
- Denise McCombie, 37, a California mother of two who's expecting a
daughter this fall, spent $475 to have a numerologist test her favorite
name, Leah Marie, to see if it had positive associations.
- One man, on choosing the name "Beckett" for his son: "That C-K sound is very well regarded in corporate
circles," Mr. Alper says, giving Kodak and Coca-Cola as examples. "The
hard stop forces you to accentuate the syllable in a way that draws
attention to it."
- Madeline Dziallo, 36, a beautician and mother of two in LaGrange, Ill.,
turned to a consultant when naming both of her children, Ross, 3, and
Natalie, eight months. That consultant, Maryanna Korwitts, a
self-described nameologist based in Downers Grove, Ill., charges up to
$350 for a package including three half-hour phone calls and a
personalized manual describing the name's history, linguistic origins
and personality traits.
I'm sorry, but I think it's a bad way to start off your life with
your Mini-Me by outsourcing his identity to some Internet opportunist
with a marketing degree and a baby obsession. Plus, if you start to
hate the name after a few years or you realize it has some horrible
association that the consultant neglected to discover, you have no
reprieve but to just hate yourself for not being together enough to
NAME YOUR OWN CHILD.
No, I am more interested in a solution that does not involve
me telling my curious future child that "Mommy met a very nice man on
the Internet who told us your name would play very well in corporate
circles!' That's like giving him/her an extra free space on their
Bingo board of Why I Resent My Parents, and I guarantee you that board
will not need any more free spaces.