Are you watching the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix? Or have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? The Japanese lifestyle consultant urges us to discard anything in our lives that doesn’t spark joy.
You can imagine the jokes, the memes about getting rid of the washing machine and the bathroom scale.
But is there anything to the idea? When it comes to naming, should we reject any potential name that doesn’t give us a little thrill?
I’m not convinced the answer is yes. It took me years – no, really, years – to fall in love with my firstborn’s name. But I didn’t exactly doubt the decision. We used a family name from my husband’s side, one that meant a tremendous amount to him. Today, seeing my teenage son tower over his namesake grandfather? It sparks joy now, even though it didn’t necessarily, all those years ago.
Then again, I do believe we should use the names we love. It’s just that love isn’t always a straightforward emotion. After all, I gave my son his name out of a deep and lasting love, a commitment to family that was bigger than my own wishes. How could I regret that?
So maybe names should spark joy, but not in a simplistic way. It has to be a spark that can catch fire. One that can burn over a great many years. So maybe my advice shouldn’t be “use the name you love.” Maybe it should be “use the name that you can best imagine loving, even fifty years later.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done!
- Another Kondo-inspired Q: will Marie catch on? I say it’s one of the most overlooked names out there. It was routinely stuffed in the middle spot, a filler name for a generation of women. But today, it’s what so many parents seek – a classic name that’s seldom heard, but instantly familiar. The tremendous appeal of Marie Kondo might push it up the popularity charts – and inspire a generation of children who neatly fold their onesies.
- Did you catch the Fiji water girl at the Golden Globes earlier this month? The model kept popping up in the frame during interviews with nominees and glitterati on the red carpet. Turns out her name? Kelleth. And she’s landed a gig as a Super Bowl correspondent. And a soap opera role. I can’t find much on the name – presumably it’s a twist on Kelly?
- Speaking of twists, there’s a new baby giraffe at the Albuquerque zoo, and he’s named Neelix, after a Star Trek: Voyager character. I suppose there’s a passing resemblance – the alien had a sort of spotted complexion and a tuft of hair, too. But I’m wondering – does Neelix work for a child? With familiar Neil and vintage Felix, Neelix might not be the most outlandish suggestion ever.
- Two Billys and a Ralph in the latest British Baby Names birth announcements – plus a girl name Elspeth Evelyn. These posts are always a highlight of my week.
- Some rock solid advice here.
- I think I really like every one of the boy names on this list.
- Every single thing Duana said here.
- A good list of fits-in/stands-out names for girls.
- Newsflash: that whole thing about babies being named for Instagram filters? It wasn’t a thing.
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!