At Thanksgiving my father confided that he wished he had my youngest brother's name. It was a bit of a shock. I never knew he was unhappy about this, and it left me feeling a little sorry for him. He actually goes by his middle name, which was used to differentiate him from my grandfather.
By contrast, aside from some teasing I got in the '80s for my last name — which thankfully faded with time like most bits of pop culture (and no, my name is not Erasmus Thighmaster) — I've been 100% happy with my own moniker. I have one of those names that, for some reason, people like to address me by in full. Perhaps it's a pleasing or striking group of tones — or maybe it just sounds funny or ponderous or businesslike. I don't mind. I feel like I've been given a winner, truth be told.
Soon Erika and I must give someone else a name, and I want to avoid creating any resentment like my father's. We have our list; we've even tried it out, week to week, with the baby. At this point, we're going to whittle it down to our three favorites, and then, well, I suppose it's that greatest test of any name: What does the baby "look" like when it's born? Does any baby ever really look like a name? Maybe they do. I only hope she'll like it. And we will do our best to not stack the deck against her with an esoteric choice.
Byzantia Thighmaster may have to wait.