Name Angst

We’re “due” on Monday.

Everyone says we’re as prepared as we can be. We have the room situated, bags are packed (for us, and the dogs who are going to stay with friends), phone numbers programmed in my husbands phone, and we have a name picked out.

Well….sort of.

We have a first name picked out, which I thought was going to be the hard part. We even figured out the last name, which was a little more of a thinking game than one would think. I hyphenated my last name because I couldn’t let go of my maiden name. I had it for 30 years and it was as much a part of me as frizzy hair. My husband kept his name in tact without the hyphen, so we did really have to sit down and figure out which way to go when it came to our child.

The middle name? The name that really shouldn’t be that big of a deal – it’s just basically used to yell out when she does something really wrong. For some reason, the middle name is really hard for me to commit to.

Totally a “First name, MIDDLE NAME, Last name” situation.

My husband loves a particular name, and I totally can get on board with this particular name. It’s a good, solid name that fits a few qualifiers that we have set in place, either by accident or intentionally. For example, we inadvertently decided that it should start with a C, like both of our middle names. Whenever we talk about this name together, I am renewed with excitement and vigor about this name.

That being said, every time I jump on the “YES! That’s it. That’s her name”, a few weeks go by, and I think “wellllllll……what about this one? Or this spelling? Or how about this?” I always come back to it, and always get re-excited about it, but there are these huge moments of angst and doubt about her middle name. The name of (relatively speaking) least importance.

You see, I have middle name angst. I LOATHED my middle name growing up. In a class of 26 in a small town, all the girls had middle names like Marie and Ann(e). Mine was Corinne. No one had that name back then, and the only association I had with it was of my then still alive Great Grandmother. So naturally, as a 6-year-old on the playground, I associated Corinne with Old People, which is not cool when you’re running around with a bunch of peers with youthful middle names, like Leigh.

“A name with a silent ‘G”! How cool is that?!? I’m jealous.”
– Younger me, age 6

I was convinced that was part of why I was never “cool” – though now, looking back, no one cared about my middle name. They did care that I was a nerd, socially awkward, and pretty hyper-intense. That might have had more to do with it.

THIS is why I wasn’t cool. No one cared about my middle name.

When I grew into my name, my Great-Grandmother had been dead for a few years, and I started to embrace it. I liked using it everywhere – on my diplomas, when I wrote things that were published, and anywhere that people would see that my name was cool, and alliterative, and did I mention cool? I really liked my name, and I really like my newly MORE alliterative married name.

That being said, as I got older, I met more people with the name Corinne – but they pronounced it differently. Cor-EEEEn. For some reason, that bothered me.

I tend to get stuck on things that are a little weird and absolutely meaningless to other people. Two examples of this are symmetry (bookshelves have to have balance on both sides if there are knick knacks involved) and pronouncing something, that yes, is an accepted Americanized pronunciation of the name, but isn’t right phonetically as per the way it’s spelled* gets my panties in a bunch.

*No offense to Corinne’s who really pronounce their name Cor-een is intended. This is my weird hang up. I’m sure you’re all nice people – I know several of you, and I appreciate that you don’t get upset when I slip and say Corinne from time to time!

Related note: As a football fan, THIS drove me nuts

It’s pronounced FAV-RAH. Get it right, dude!

Don’t believe me? Here is the pronounciation.

Once you know that, you can’t un-know that. For some reason, the name not being pronounced correctly is almost as bad as his “I’m retired. Just kidding!” episode of 3 years, and for an even MORE inexplicable reason, really, REALLY bothers me and no one else.

And it shouldn’t.

But it does.

So back to naming our daughter. We have this name picked out, and I keep wavering, thinking “will she hate her middle name? Will she hate us for picking it?”

In the long run, she’ll be fine with it. She’ll grow into it. Who knows what weird association (if any – hopefully she doesn’t get my OCD about names!) she’ll make regarding her name.

But it’s the name we’re picking for her, it’s the name she’ll have, and hopefully someday she’ll see for herself how hard it is to pick a name that one parent likes, the other parent likes, and that (hopefully) the kid will like, too.

I’m still baffled that this is the part I’m having a challenging time with, and not the first name that we’ll be using all the time. That was a bit of a surprise.

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