In March, my husband and I are going to have a baby. We've chosen to wait until the baby is born to learn its gender.
Although I truly have no preference, at this point I'm hoping the baby is a boy just so it will have a name. We picked "Wesley" for a boy ("The Princess Bride" is my favorite movie.)
Boys' names are easier somehow. Very few of them recall a honky-tonk song from the 1970s. The popular names on boys' lists don't fluctuate as much from year to year or decade to decade. According to the Social Security Administration, William was a popular name in 1922, and Michael is in the top 10 today.
For girls, the story is a bit different. Among the top girls' names in 1930 was Dolores. By 1953, a popular name was Linda. In 1983 Jennifer was No. 1.
And in 2009, Genesis was in the top 100.
And then there's the date/attorney test. A female name should satisfactorily complete both of the following sentences: "I've got a date Saturday night with (insert name)!" and "I've hired an attorney named (insert name)."
Girls' names should connote fun and professional competence. And, believe me, there aren't many names that can work both sides of that equation.
Finally, after much deliberation, Phil and I happened upon a girl's name that we both liked. It was neither too prissy nor too trendy. It passed the date/attorney test. It sounded nice with our surname. It didn't rhyme with anything dirty.
Mind you, this entire discussion started a year ago, before I was even pregnant.
And then our neighbor called. She was calling to announce the birth of her new daughter. And, without warning, out of all the names she could have chosen, she picked the very name - the only name - that Phil and I had ever agreed on.
I couldn't tell her this. I was truly happy for her. Besides, I wasn't even pregnant at the time. But I silently recalled the agonizing process of choosing a name and realized that we would have to do it all over again.
So soon, our family will welcome a new little child. I apologize to anyone whose name appeared in this column; I mean no offense. I also want to apologize, in advance, to little Peggy Velma Savannah Skye Bonnie Blue Batten. We'll love you no matter what your name is.