Tag Archives: Infant

What’s in a Name?

Image by CCXPistiavos from Pixabay.

How did your parents select your name?

Perhaps you, like Hubby and I, are a Baby Boomer. Tradition ruled, and many infants were named after parents and grandparents. Later, the plethora of Juniors and Roman numerals would confuse every computer on the planet.

One-syllable, biblical boys’ names often prevailed, e.g. John, Mark and James. Hubby, one of thousands of Stephens (also biblical), always met other Steves at school.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay.

According to the Social Security Administration, the top 1950s names for baby girls included Mary, Linda, Deborah and Susan. My schools teemed with them. I met only two other Rachels, their names spelled differently from mine. Pastors’ daughters too. Sigh.

My mother, Betty, disliked associations with Betty Grable and other brazen hussies of her era. Her children’s names would be biblical and different.

We were different, all right. No respectable Boomer bore names like Nathanael, Rachael, Aaron and Jonathan.

Yet, Mom named our sister after a singer, Janis Paige. Why couldn’t I have been named after Debbie Reynolds? Instead, I received not only a little-old-lady name, but Mom handed me an additional “a,” as in “Rachael.”

The nurse “helping” her with my birth certificate frowned. “Not the correct spelling.”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

I want it spelled that way.”

Later, Mom told me I was “Rachael.” I spelled my name her way into adulthood.

When I applied for a passport, though, I discovered my birth certificate said “Rachel.” That “a” provoked hostility that rivaled the Cold War’s. Eventually, I plowed through bureaucracy to pay for the name Mom gave me.

My mother may have borne the popular name, “Betty,” like pin-up Betty Grable, but no movie-star names for her kids!

Then Jennifer Aniston played a character named Rachel in Friends. During 1990, “Rachel” rated 15th in girls’ names.

When Rachael Ray hosted cooking shows, even computers stopped rejecting me as an alien.

Nowadays, in grocery stores when a stern mother commands, “Rachael, put that down,” I still cringe and return the squash I was planning to purchase to its shelf.

I miss my name’s uniqueness. Maybe I could smear it with individuality: ®àĉhæɬ.

Recalling the Great A Controversy, maybe not. Such a hassle over one silent letter.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

Shakespeare, whose name has been spelled 80-some different ways throughout the centuries, would agree. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

I bet the IRS didn’t like him, either.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: If you changed your name, what would it be?

Vive la Différence!

Throughout human history, we have observed one inevitable truth: men and women are different.

Even our newborn who mistook Daddy’s shirt-pocketed beeper for breakfast recognized that fact.

So why does our culture try to convince us otherwise?

Take, for example, the five senses: sight, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching.

Everyone possesses a pair of eyes. Yet women can spot cute shoes on sale from the interstate. Men see such shoes only if their spouses add this 207th pair to their closets.

Women mostly see dirt and germs in a negative light. Perhaps because God made Adam from mud pies, guys see dirt in a positive light, whether in a slide into home plate or a monster truck’s foray into mud bogs. They acknowledge germs only if their work requires they eradicate them in patients or grow them in petri dishes.

Gender differences also pervade our hearing. A husband may wonder, “Why bother with baby monitors?”

When Mommy and Daddy are on a second honeymoon, two hundred miles away, she still hears their infant. Monitor or no monitor, he only hears their baby at night when accompanied by his wife’s elbow, kick, and/or water pistol.

This female hyper-hearing also applies to nighttime burglars and moments when children are too quiet. In either case, men experience a strictly limited audible range. How can she have expected him to do something, when he never heard it?

However, males hear “funny noises” in vehicles. My husband can detect an imperfect cup holder — even if it rattles in the third car behind him.

Women and men even smell smoke in contrasting ways. Women call 911 or, if company’s coming, clean ovens. Men smell bonfires, barbecues and fireworks. The smell of smoke equals a party!

The sense of taste also highlights gender differences. For men, taste generally involves sufficient quantity — unless you’re talking broccoli. Women are all about haute cuisine, artistic presentation and half servings — unless you’re talking chocolate. Then, bring it on by the semi load.

Finally, the sexes experience touch in unique ways. Women hug to celebrate engagements, new babies, expanded closet space. We hug to console each other when evil extra pounds refuse to be evicted.

Men, on the other hand, hug at key life events: weddings, funerals, or ball games. If their team wins.

Why did the Creator design us so differently? We may not understand that mystery until Heaven. Still, acknowledging He knew what He was doing seems reasonable.

Actually, it’s the only scenario that makes sense.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you sense your world differently from men/women?