Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name…

In writing these essays I find myself often wanting to mention my family members specifically. I am sure they dread this. What is a mother’s job but to embarrass her children after all? We apparently start when they turn eight or so and get steadily more embarrassing as time goes on until they are in their late teens and we cannot even be seen with them in public without eliciting groans, shrugs and elaborate methods of disguise on their part and murmurs of commiseration on that of their peers.

Usually this is not done deliberately. While my oldest daughter was enthralled at and the envy of her friends for being picked up in the dead of winter in a car with no windshield driven by her boyfriend (he was older and had a CAR, OH MY GOD) she was furious at me for embarrassing her by wearing my Sears Associate name tag to the high school for 9th grade orientation.

I am sure my son was mortified when we returned home from a shopping expedition to find him holding court in the basement with 20 of his closest friends. When we smelled cigarette smoke my husband tracked down the offenders and asked to see their IDs to verify they were of legal age. Why is it cool to entertain in your room, which is an unfinished space in the basement delineated by hanging blankets (the younger neighborhood kids called it the dungeon) but not cool for your parents to make sure they did not get any obnoxious, pissed off parent’s calls by checking rotten little smokers’ ages?

I will admit I am usually the first one to say or do something embarrassing, but luckily I can usually blame it on my vision and most of the time it is a valid excuse. I do love them though, and do not want them to be hurt or afraid to look at this so I have decided to give them pseudonyms. I realize that for those of you who know us this will do no good at all, but it may spare them future anguish and even if it doesn’t I have had fun figuring out which names suit them best.

For my oldest daughter, my first born and the one who keeps me humble… I like FiFi, which is short for fille fille which is a play on her name (not going to write her name, no way) and it is what we called her when she was just a tot because it means girl girl in French, which we spoke and which she was and still is. I don’t think she will like that though, or my second choice, EnemI (think about it, you will get it). I will call her Anna, which is a nod to my mother and a terrible pun when put with her maiden name, and a strong name for a strong woman.

For my son (who is the most embarrassing person I know when he puts his mind to it) I will use the name he gave himself, Peter. (AKA Petah Petahson) I apologize to anyone who actually has that name in advance if I ever use it in a way not kind or gentlemanly, but this is my son, one of my kids, and sometimes we are known to get a little… rambunctious and may not behave in a perfectly acceptable manner.

For my sweet baby girl who has a temper like nobodies business and a huge, huge heart I choose the name Polly. Why? Polly goes so well with Peter. They harmonize. My Polly and Peter go together like that, flashing quick wit or quick anger, harmonizing with each other in a lovely way that makes my heart sing along with joy. Also, just an aside, the lovely actress Jennifer Aniston was a looker and a charmer and a unique individual in ‘Along Came Polly’ and my daughter is all of those things. Plus, she would probably have a stupid ferret.

The grandkids are easy. For Anna’s (see how smooth that was?) I am going with Mario because he is a well known Wii addict and he would not like to be immortalized as boo-stinky, his current pet name. For her older daughter GiGi because it is her initials and a fancy name for a fancy girl and last but certainly not least comes Star, because that mighty might is a star and paratrooper-baby-girl just doesn’t sound right.

For Peter’s kids we have Olive, like the Oyl, tall thin, beautiful, smart (smart-alecky on occasion), and Guru because he will be a computer guru if he keeps going at the current rate. The twins were much harder. They both could be called Dimples, but Dimples-one and Dimples-two lack panache. Mary Kate and Ashley are so obvious, and blonde, they would never work. I decided on Lorna and Liza, as they have gorgeous huge dark eyes and, as mentioned, those huge dimples.

For Polly’s lovely girls we will go with Zoey, but only because Elmo is definitely a boy and I do want to pay homage to her love for all things red and fuzzy, and Smiley, because gosh darn it she just is.

It isn’t often a mother gets to name her children twice. I hope they like the names I have chosen for them. This gives them plausible deniability (wow, I never thought I would be able to use that in a sentence!) and worst case scenario, something new, from me, to be embarrassed about.