People...we are in the home stretch. Yesterday I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. They are annoying and distract me from the things I am doing. They also remind me of the things I still need to do. So what's on the ever important list? The usual...rearrange furniture, clean, make a casserole... Thankfully we have ceased discussion on names as we have agreed to a name a few weeks ago. It's a good feeling to have that out of the way.
If you know my husband, you would probably describe him as easy going. This is probably true unless it's something that involves tradition. Tradition is a very seriously business and naming your child is a very, very serious activity. Many generations of his family have managed to name their children the same thing over and over again for centuries. Boring perhaps, but that's tradition. There are rules that must be followed.
To understand the painful hours I spent with him deciding on a name, I will provide you with a brief outline of the rules. I firmly believe that most people wouldn't be able to figure out a name for their hamster given all these restrictions, but I persevered.
Rule 1: The kid has to have a real name, not a shortened form of a name. Sounds reasonable right? Is Gretchen a real name? Not according to my husband. Gretchen is “little Greta” in German which is short for Margaret. So if I wanted to call my daughter Gretchen I would have to name her Margaret. No offense to all the Margarets out there, but no thanks - Peg, Peggy, Marge - all awful.
Husband also maintains that naming a child Gretchen is similar to naming a child Mikey (instead of Michael). I told him he was being dramatic, he told me I just didn't know what I was talking about.
Rule 2: It has to be something that sounds nice in English and German. This one I understand. He thinks Gretchen sounds offensive out of my mouth. Apparently if I had mastered the art of the German phlegm/choking noise, my pronunciation would be acceptable. I have not and therefore all names that I pronounce like crap are off the table. He also doesn’t like when Germans name their children things they can not pronounce – like Nathanial which usually comes out sounding like Na-san-yal since many of them can’t pronounce the English “th”.
He also steadfastly refuses to believe a name can be pronounced differently in different countries. I respond to a whole host of pronunciations of my name. I guess husband never noticed that I don’t pronounce his name the same way his mother does….shhhh, don’t tell him.
Rule 3: It has to be a name, it can’t be made up. Ok, in all fairness this is actually a German rule, not my husbands. In the good ‘ole USA you can name your kid whatever you want – Tree, Apple, River, Asshat…the sky is the limit. In Germany they have laws to protect their children. They've loosened up a little in recent years – they’ll accept names of other nationalities but you still can’t make up some shit and call it a name. So you won’t find any Versace’s or Shithead’s in Deutschland. You probably also wouldn’t find idiots like these people. Be sure to check out the link to the pictures at the bottom of the article. I can’t decide which I like better, the car decal or the skull.
Rule 4: It can’t be French. I have no explanation for this one. Apparently the PWT in Germany name their kids French names. I can only draw on my own distaste for stripper names as a close comparison. Destiny, Chastity, Candy, Angel, etc… Nothing like setting the bar very low early in your child’s life.
Rule 5: None of this new fangled name construction. This rule actually covers a host of sub-rules
5a. My maiden name is not a suitable middle name. Really any family name is unacceptable as a first or middle name. They are last names and that's it.
5b. You can’t give a girl a boy’s name, even if it’s a commonly accepted unisex name these days.
5c. Only traditional spellings are acceptable. You can’t swap out an “i” for a “y” or some other ridiculous nonsense.
Rule 6: It can’t be any kind of name that reminds him of someone he doesn’t like, a fictional character that has a distasteful/negative connotation or anything he considers “icky”. I liked the name Otto. He said that’s always the name of the fat kid in children’s stories that bullies all the other children. Then there was some discussion about how "Otto" always carries sandwiches in his pockets. I didn't understand but it's best not to argue.
Anyway, stay tuned for more details on little Destinee Duvet Cristal...