From the parents who cleverly* replace an “i” with a “y” (Madisyn?), or make up new names entirely by mashing two normal names together (Kartlyn? Karlynne?), it’s safe to say the world of names is getting weirder and weirder.
My parents didn’t go that route. I don’t think that was the cool thing to do in the early 90s; the parents of my friends seemed pretty content with the usual Jessicas and Carlys. They didn’t even try to give me a weird family middle name. I could have been that quirky girl whose middle name is “Olive.” Yes, that was a real name when my grandmother was born in the 20s (30s? Jesus, I don’t know. “Old” isn’t a real age, is it?)
This was all fine and dandy in grade school. Occasionally, there would be another Michelle that would creep into our class, and then subsequently leave. (The school was pretty bad, a lot of new kids wouldn’t make it past the first week without crying to their mommies they wanted to transfer to that nice school down the road. Sissies.) The other Michelle would just be assigned an initial or a nickname, and life would go on. Your name was still unique to you.
What’s horrifying is the newfound ability to type your name, first and last, into Facebook to see what comes up. There are over 100 (!!!) of me registered on Facebook, and probably more; the “See more results” button froze after the 10th click. These are profiles with pictures that reflect lives of other women living with the exact same name as me. Do they sign their name like me? Do they use the rightmost vertical line on the M as the vertical line on the K when they initial? Do their friends call them “MK” sometimes? Do they laugh when they see some ugly shoes called “Michelle K?” (They’re out there!)
I wonder if they pronounce their last name the proper Irish way like my aunts do, or just quickly blurt it out with a single flat syllable.
I shall never know. I don’t even want to meet them. One added me on Facebook for some reason, and I declined. I mean, there is only one of me! ONLY ONE.
Sorry guys, I own the original facebook.com/michelleLASTNAME URL with no numbers or underscores. HAH. Beat you all!
After all this complaining, I do have one thing to thank my dear parents for:
At least my name isn’t Krisanthemymm, La-a, Alyxzandrya, or Caitlyn*
*Everyone in high school was named Caitlyn, Caitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaitlin, Katelynn, Catelynne, or Qh8lin
(okay, you caught me, I made that last one up)
I will never have to spell my name to others, aside from the occasional “Michelle with two L’s.” Don’t even get me started on the crazies that spell it with one. No one will ever struggle pronouncing it, or call me by some weird bastardized version while I awkwardly try to correct them in a meeting with the CEO. It will never happen.
Thank you, parents.