We know a wonderful couple that live in the City. They could be poster children for San Francisco chic – handsome, young, urban, successful. Living in the Sunset District, a few blocks from Golden Gate Park, they seem to know every event, restaurant, bar, gallery, and museum. Black clothing predominates their wardrobe – as well as skinny ties and skinny jeans.
And, they have decided to trade it all for diapers, car seats, strollers, and portable playpens.
Yep, they’re pregnant.
They now face the biggest challenge of their marriage. It’s not daycare or whether to breastfeed. Nor is it finding the right pediatrician or where the child will attend school. No, it’s not any of these. Instead, it’s what to name the child.
I speak from experience.
When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I excitedly offered a few names that I thought would be perfect.
“How about Mary Ann, if it’s a girl?”
“Why not? It’s a lovely name.”
“I don’t like it.”
“I just don’t.”
“That’s not a very helpful response.”
“It was the name of your girlfriend.”
“What? Are you kidding?”
“Well, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was the name of my girlfriend. My girlfriend in the FIRST GRADE! A person I haven’t seen in twenty years.”
“I don’t care. I know you would be thinking of her whenever you look at our daughter.”
It was then that I discovered that hormones create their own unique form of logic – one inscrutable to husbands.
Using my child’s name to pay homage to my favorite author (“Dylan Thomas”), guitar player (“The Edge”) or rock star (“Springsteen”) were similarly rejected. (On reflection, she was probably right about this.)
Ultimately, we ended up with a more Democratic process. We each prepared our own list of girl and boy names. Then on an appointed evening, we enjoyed a glass of wine, giggled at our good fortune and took turns striking names off the other’s list until just four were left.
Then my wife chose whatever name she wanted.
Hoping to make the process easier for our friends – we will call them “the Bennetts” – I enlisted my family to come up with suggestions.
Boy Names: Buck, Finn, Bruce, Busta Rhymes, Oliver, Maverick, Braveheart, Hudson and Hayden.
Girl Names: Samantha, Maddy, Sarah, Maggie, Ciara, Emily, Gaga, Mia, Rachel and Zooey.
Of course, “Mike” is always a great name.
If you’ve got suggestions for “Baby Bennett”, please post them below.