I used to have a girlfriend who thought the world was copying her. She’d see a picture of a celebrity wearing a similar cut of jeans to her, and be convinced said celebrity was doing it just because she was. She’d screen-print a T-shirt -“ artsy lesbians, you know how it is -“ and before she could say check me out in my one-off orig-inale some dude would walk past wearing one exactly the same.
I always thought she was insane. That was until something similar started happening to me. It’s not that everyone is dressing like me -“ God forbid, a world of scruffs -“ but they all want a piece of the name my girlfriend and I gave our little boy.
It’s gotten to the stage where I don’t even want to tell people what it is. In a caf?if a pregnant woman sneaks over to check him out, I feel like making something up -“ because when they hear it, one of two things happen: They say that’s nice in a way that barely masks their deep, inner hatred of it as a name, or their eyes get a glint of hunger, as though they’re Robert Langdon cracking da Baby-name Code.
I understand that it’s hard to get a good name for a kid. Some of the ones we considered at weak moments I shudder at, even after just seven months. Our only girl’s name was ruined by the creators of Desperate Housewives and our original boy’s name murdered by a contestant on Australian Idol.
But now a famously foul Australian actress has chosen our son’s name for the title of her latest addition to her family. A girl, no less. Never mind it’s an old French boy’s name. Never mind my son will probably now be surrounded by girls in his class with the same name.
Even worse than that, it’s turned up on a hot-list of cool baby names for girls or boys on a very popular American parenting website. It will probably be next year’s Aiden/ Aden/ Aidan/ Jayden/ Jaiden/ Hayden.
At least we had the good sense not to make something up. A friend of mine has a new niece courtesy of her hill-blood country cousins. The little darling’s name? Daytona, of course, after the car-racing video game.