So I hear that you may have or might try to have children someday. Congrats! As a pro-breeder, I am glad to hear that you want to bring life into this great and glorious–or rapidly-degrading, if you listen to the paranoid freaks–world we live in. There is nothing more special than being able to give life to and raise a human being, and being the best parent to your offspring should bring joy and happiness to your and their lives.
That said, there are certain things to consider. While there are many factors that you can’t control–health, sexuality, hair color, tendencies to listen to Nickelback–there is one that you can: For God sakes, put some thought into what you name your child.
Now, you might be asking yourself this: why is this handsome African-American man telling me what to do? Well first off, thanks for the compliment! I need to hear that every once in awhile. Second, you folks often lose your natural minds when it’s time to bestow a name upon your first/second/fourteenth kid. I don’t know if it’s the strain of being unique or the growing family history of meth addiction (which you should look into, by the way), but it is noticeable.
Celebrities are notorious for going bat-shit crazy when the idea of baby naming comes up. Perhaps they believe they’re expressing their artistic creativity (Jermaine Jackson’s child, Jermajesty), they had some delicious fruit that day (Gwyneth Paltrow, I’m looking at you) or wanted to take sides in the all-important geek battle of Pirates versus Ninjas (Korn’s Jonathan Davis…), no sane person (i.e. NOT A SCIENTOLOGIST) would do that to their child.
Oh, but the crazy seeps into you everyday people as well–and U.S. Weekly was not lying: celebrities ARE just like us! I recently heard about a couple, die-hard Green Bay Packers fans, named their two children after Pro Bowl quarterback Brett Farve with the names “Brett” and “Farve.”
Let’s take a second and digest that: there’s a child out there named “Farve.” Like, if they were called on in class, the teacher would pronounce it, “Pharve.” Clearly, these people have never set foot outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin in their entire lives.
And we’re back. My first experience with bad names came in sixth grade. When reading a class roster for a kindergarten class, I saw the name Central Hightower, and then proceeded to feel feelings of empathy for the very first time. “Poor kid,” I thought. Unless that boy took a quick shine to football, wrestling or mixed-martial arts fighting, he would have an uphill battle with such a name.
And therein lies the rub. You parents believe that you’re giving your child a special name, something unique with meaning and creativity. But here’s the problem: that kid is going to have that name for the rest of their lives–which could be more than 100 years, thanks to science.
And here’s another newsflash: kids are merciless when it comes to differences in peers–funky names included. Ever hear the classics, “Smelly Shelly” or “Fairy Larry”? Those are just some of the brain nuggets that await your precious on the cruel playgrounds known as growing up. (And really, those taunting kids don’t have to be bright to come up with names: “i.e. Bart Fart.”)
But you are probably thinking to yourself, “Well, that won’t happen to MY child! The name we pick will be nice and different!” Hey, I’m sure that Jennifer Lopez (or J-Lo to you visitors from 1999) thought she was doing the same when naming her kids after the characters from the cartoon “Dragontales.” “But the name has meaning to us!” you might cry. “This name is really unique!” you might bellow. And really, statements like these are you being selfish. “I can name my kid what I want! I’m paying for it!” you might yell drunkenly on the trailer porch. Well, you can also pay for that poor kid’s therapy sessions, because there will be many.
If you really wanted to ensure that your child not only likes their name, but doesn’t hate you in the process, try a normal name. In other words, don’t name your daughter “Princess” because it’s written on the butt of your sweatpants, “Monoxide” because you think it sounds upper-class, or “Placenta” because you heard it mentioned on the show “Grey’s Anatomy.” Good, nice names like Nathan, Sarah and Ethan–hell, even the name Trevor–are positive alternatives to “Crew,” “Nixon” and “Keen.” (And less likely to prompt the follow-up question, “Were you HIGH when you named them that?” Don’t think people will hold up public decorum and keep that to themselves.)
Not only would you be saving them from bullying, social anxieties and turning emo, you will also ensure their financial stability (by not having employers reject their resume on name alone) and yours (i.e. lack of therapy bills). And either way, the taxpayers win–myself included.
Parenthood is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so don’t fuck it up! I’m warning you.
A concerned citizen