So because we aren't planning on sharing the sex of the baby, we decided not to go totally Smug and share our names. We have had them chosen for years and we still like them. We think they are solid names that go well together. Nothing particularly controversial about them.
In fact - they are, in case I haven't mentioned them recently - Gwendolyn Rose and Gabriel Ross. The boy name is very special to me personally (DH as well) because Ross is after a dearly loved person in my life, and Gabriel (the messenger angel) seemed the appropriate name to go before that. So I am not going to be swayed on these. And as I think they are traditional, tried-and-true, spelt correctly and such, I felt they were pretty safe to put out there.
I forgot that people have opinions on everything. Especially in my family - let's face it, it's not like I'm immune to that either.
My mom knew the names and, because she's Mom, said only nice things about them. This is the same woman who refused to say anything slightly negative or give an opinion at all about wedding gowns I tried on, because she was terrified she would say something nasty about one I loved and hurt my feelings. It made dress shopping a trial (I was ASKING for her opinions, ffs), but it's not such a bad trait when it comes to names we aren't budging on.
My dad, on the other hand, registered his immediate dislike with a puzzled look that began to approach a sneer. Gwendolyn, he informed me, was far too long. I replied that my name was of equal length (the 'duh, dimwit who helped to name me' was left silent). Gabriel, I was informed, was a weak name and Ross was a gay name. Did I want my son to be gay? I quickly put that sort of discussion to bed, because I really don't give a shit about my child's sexual orientation so long as they find a loving, supportive partner and don't end up with abusive assholes or alone and miserable (alone and happy is dandy).
Anyway, since then, we've had mixed feedback, but it's mostly limited polite oohs and things because it is clear that these are our choices, however pretentious/old-fashioned/ugly/whatever you find them. But the story doesn't end here, it returns to my father. Who has evermore had trouble remembering the names we've chosen. He tries everytime we talk to see if he's got it right yet and he's getting closer and closer. However, the last attempt ended in unintentional hilarity.
On the phone:
Dad: So, what are those names you've picked again? Guinevere Rose?
Me: Close, Dad. Gwendolyn Rose.
Dad: That's right. Gwendolyn Rose. Right. (insert long pause) Wait, don't tell me the other. It's right there. I know it's GR.
Me: Yes, that's right.
Dad: Hmmm. Um, Gaylord Ralph?
- interjecting, yes. He said GAYLORD RALPH. What. The. Fuck. We are not that cruel or pretentious! -
Me: GAYLORD RALPH? *starts sputtering in laughter* GAYLORD RALPH? Where the HELL did you get Gaylord Ralph?
Dad: That's not it?
Me: No. It's Gabriel Ross.
Dad: (pause). Oh, that's better then. I thought Gaylord was pretentious.
Gaylord Ralph. *shakes head*
So everytime I've told that story since, it's equaled hilarity and people chuckle over baby Gaylord. And telling people we're naming the baby Gaylord is almost as good as when I used to tell them we planned to name the baby horrible, cheezy, terrible combinations of our names because the baby was the product of our combined love. They never knew quite how to reply to it, but the looks of horror battling with politeness were too tempting to resist. Gaylord - almost as good. Anyway.
Now, I told you that story to tell you this one. (Tater Salad!)
Today, someone made a foray onto Baby Names and found a most delicious post. A woman was inquiring about people felt about the name Abacus.
Yes, the ancient Chinese accounting tool; that's the one. Abacus. Pfft.
It came out after much ridicule (why don't you go modern and name him Calculator?!)and patient explanation that it might not be ideal, she says she wants it because she likes the way it sounds.
I responded something to the effect of 'Well, I like the way asphyxiation and xenophobe sound, but I recognize that they are not appropriate names for human beings!'
As I related this to my coworker who sorely needed a laugh, she began laughing really, really hard - to the point that she was snorting and had tears rolling down her face. I thought it was funny, but not quite that funny, but when she caught her breath she shared what really set her off.
It was picturing me introducing my sons, young Asphyxiation Ralph and his little brother Xenophobic Gaylord. I started laughing too, because Asphyxiation Ralph sounds remarkably like a failure of a cartoon character/safety manual who urges small children not to put their heads in grocery bags.
Asphyxiation Ralph, indeed. Frankly, I prefer Xenophobic Gaylord, because it's got potential for Evil Overlord aspirations.