Hello everyone, my name is Lauren Clark and I’m an alcoholic....
No wait, that’s not right. I’m not an alcoholic (anymore), but my name is Lauren Clark and I’d like to say a few words about it and about names in general.
First off I’m very proud to have a name that Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe) himself says is a ‘perfect authour’ name. I’m serious. He says in order to be a successful writer you need to have a name that looks good in big block letters on the front cover of a book.
He says that what constitutes as ‘looks good’ is to have a long first name (such as Douglas) with at least six letters and then a short common last name (such as Adams). Well I’m proud to say that I have these criteria.
So I should be a famous authour, right? .....hmmm....I guess there’s more to it than just a name...
It’s not to say that the name ‘Lauren’ isn’t without its faults. It has plenty of them. The first of which is anyone over 45 instantly asks me if I’ve heard of Lauren Bacall and if I'm named after her (I am not, I was named after an 44 foot teak sloop (a kind of boat) named the 'L. Michelle'. My father LOVED this boat (even though it wasn't his), and when he learned my mum was preggers, if I was a girl he wanted to name me after this boat. So my middle name is Michelle and my mother came up with Lauren for the 'L'. I've never known my father to call me anything other than L. Michelle).
The other problem is:
No one can ever get it right the first time...or even the hundredth.
I swear WITHOUT FAIL the first time I ever tell anyone my name they instantly say ‘Laura?’. No, no, a thousand times no. ‘EN’, LaurEN! Get it right! I don’t have a speech impediment and I don’t mumble when I say my name because I KNOW you’re going to get it wrong!!
My next door neighbor (bless her heart, she is sweet...however) has called me ‘Laurie’ since day one. I have given up on trying to correct her. My husband said to her once “Actually my wife’s name is ‘Lauren’.” and she gave him a look like he’d just tried to inform her that the sun actually revolves around the Earth.
She still calls me Laurie...it’s been two years.
Still, I like my name I do. It’s not one that you hear everyday and it goes well with my last name. Which I did not change when I got married because my husband’s name is Hatfield and suddenly I was dealing with too many letters (not to mention *endless* McCoy jokes...it’s not funny anymore people!!)
Speaking of unfortunate last names. I met one person (his parents must *hate* him) his name (I swear I'm not making this up) Daniel Daniels. ...sigh. There is also a football player in the NFL (I forget the team) named William Williams. (of course their is also one with the first name ‘Champ’...no pressure son, but we *really* want you to be an athlete).
One of my female friend narrowly escaped this fate as well. Her last name is Samuels and if she had been born male they were going to name her Samuel, and Samantha if female. (by the way not that you care, but I was to be Tommy if I had been born male).
No matter how you look at it s/he would have been: Sam Samuels.
Luckily they came to their senses, did not do this to her. Her name is Randi (so of course she always has to say 'with an ‘i’').
Speaking of odd spellings. I came across and interesting mutation the other day:
I was setting up an appointment over the phone and asked for his name. He says 'Daniel' and then starts to spell it.
"Hey, Danny Boy, I may *seem* like just a receptionist, but I do have a college degree and I *can* spell 'Daniel'. Thank you very much." I think to myself, but I do not interrupt...the customer is always right.
Then I notice that he has spelt it D-a-n-y-e-l-l.
I guess his parents were ‘hooked on phonics’.
Actually I bet his parents thought themselves mighty clever giving him a common name with a bizarre spelling, but now this poor man has to go through life spelling his name to everyone.
I have to admit that I’ve always been grateful that my name can’t officially be changed, mutated, or shortened. A few people have tried calling me just 'L', but they have not lived long.
Others have called me 'Clark' asking if I'm related to Superman...to which I respond "Clark was his first name....so no, we're not related". You wouldn't *believe* how often I've heard this!
But lets take a moment to look at those names that can be mutated:
Nothing wrong with any of that. But let’s look at another:
Wait...hold the phone...what is up with that last one (no pun intended)? Who would voluntarily choose to go through life as ‘Dick’? And how does one get from Richard to Dick in the first place?
No, wait, don't answer...I'm fairly sure that I don't want to know.
Anyway, if any of you out there are expecting a new child anytime soon please give very careful thought as to the name. They have to live with it for their rest of their lives and it will change who they are.
I mean when was the last time you met a Super Model named ‘Bertha’?