The Facebook Conundrum

I brought it upon myself; complicating the already difficult task of finding a suitable name for baby 3 with my silly criteria:

  • A name containing an N or O, preferably both…
  • Not listed on the social security name index..
  • Easy to spell and pronounce
  • Must ‘fit’ with the last name Johnson….and be easy to yell along with our other boys’ names.

But in establishing these criteria, I’d forgotten about a litmus test I’d used with the other boys’ names: looking it up on Facebook.

To see if it was particularly popular. To see if other people with the name looked like serial killers. To see….well, I’m not really sure what I expect to see, but somehow it made me feel like I’d picked a good name when I entered the Hen’s name with our last name…and nobody popped up.

So, I combined our go-to/back-up name for B3 with Johnson and entered it in the Facebook search engine. Lots of people with the same name popped up. And by lots I mean 10 or 20, which is a lot for me. Even if, as Jason likes to remind me, there are millions of people on Facebook, from all over the world.

Call me shallow or ridiculous, but after that, the name was dead to me. I tried our second back-up name; the one I’d liked more than Jason had. Same thing. Practically a dozen people in this world with the same name first and last name.

And so we got to Monday night. And I started panicking. Or hyperventilating (on the inside) as some people might call it. It’s one thing going to the hospital with a list of 3 or 4 good names; waiting to meet the baby before choosing one.

But it’s an entirely different matter to go to the hospital with a baby name BOOK and spend the 48 hours following your child’s birth, reading through names from A-Z and settling on Ahmed. Because you thought it sounded good at the time. I only say Ahmed, because, in these desperate times, Jason has actually suggested it. Along with Abner, Amos, Jacques and, my personal favorite, Larkin. No offense to the Larkins out there, but it sounds kind of made up. Or something.

He’d spent hours on the nameberry website one night, bless his heart, and had emailed me a list from his search efforts. And I liked none of them. When he was in Indiana a week or so ago, I was thinking through names. As if in a dream, the name Ioan came to me. I emailed him, expecting the matter to be settled. Never mind the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure how one would pronounce this particular arrangement of vowels.

Yes, he replied in jest, I think the name L-O-A-N is perfect, given our current financial situation. Apparently he’d thought I was joking; thought the capital I was really an L. And despite my correction, he still didn’t go for it. Nor did he go for Bror, choosing instead to roar violently as though a cat was stuck in his throat, every time I’d re-suggest it.

So Monday night arrived. And I was cleaning toilets and doing laundry at 10.30pm. Partly because I’d spent the day working on the boys’ photo albums. Partly because I fear bringing a pristine baby into a messy, chaotic home.

‘We have to figure this out, I want you to give me your top five names….names you’d be happy to call the baby.’ I told Jason. Which led to a discussion of sitcom-like proportions. The world’s biggest fake fight, in which ridiculous insults were tossed about.

‘We’re not Slovenian’ I argued at one particular suggestion.

‘You’re not actually Scandinavian,’ I later broke it to my better half, when he couldn’t tear himself away from the Scando-name lists. ‘Yes, I am,’ he argued. Somehow, I don’t think one can claim to be a particular nationality unless one’s parents, or at least grandparents, were actually born there.

‘You’re not actually South African,’ he retaliated. ‘Uh, yes I actually am. I was even born there, as were my parents, and their parents, and their parents.’

Oh, right.

In the end, we settled on a name we’d considered a long time ago. Or so I thought.

This morning, as the boys were going crazy, melting down faster than chocolate in a warm car, I warned the professor: ‘I don’t care which child you’re taking to work today, but you’re taking one of them.’

‘Fine,’ he said, ‘I’ll take Jerry (the boy in utero).’

‘You realize that’s not the name we settled on, right?’ I reminded him…unsure if he was just momentarily confused or being funny or what.

‘Oh, right…what was the name we decided on in the end?’

You have got to be kidding me.

14 thoughts on “The Facebook Conundrum

  1. LOAN BROR, this is what I am dealing with. Plus we have enough Ikea crap to qualify as scandinavian… maybe we should name him after our book shelf… Jak or Arvok or something… with an “o” with dots on top.

  2. You should give him a real manly name. Something that instills confidence AND fear at the same time – men will want to be him and women will want to be with him.

  3. oh my goodness. the paragraph on bror made me laugh really hard. Can’t wait to hear what you’ve decided on!!

    1. Aw Katie, you’re the best…we could also modify your real-life choice and go with Porker Johnson. But I’d have to check first to see if there are any on FB..

  4. I think you should just start experimenting with combinations of your first names. Janic. Olason. Nicjas. There are infinite possibilities, all guaranteed to pass your (crazy, stress-inducing) Facebook test. 🙂

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