I like names. They’re really important pieces of people, if you think about it. They’re with you for the rest of your life, and to me, a woman who will most likely relinquish her last name after marriage, that’s pretty significant.
I’m named after my great-grandfather Charles Brown; he was a fruit farmer in Delaware and an all-around snazzy guy, from what I can gather. My grandmother called him Cappy because he was the “captain of their ship” family-wise. I think that’s pretty sweet. The name stuck, at least within the family, and my dad admired him so much that my parents named me after him. One of my aunts (on my mom’s side) was quoted to say, “What kind of name is Cappy?” and I’m pretty sure that my grandmother (also on my mom’s side) didn’t like it at all at first. But I am Cappy and I always will be and I love it. It’s unique – few people have my name and those who do are not named after Charles (Cappy) Brown. I am. And he will never be forgotten as long as I have to explain my name to other people. It usually goes something like this:
Me: Hi, I’m Cappy.
Them: You mean Cathy?
Me: No, I know my own name. Cappy.
Them: How’s that?
Me: Cappy. C-a-p-p-y.
Them: Ohhhh, Cappy. Is that your full name? Or is it short for something, like Copernicus or Capriella or Cappernickle?
Me: No. Please don’t think my parents are big enough fools to name me Cappernickle. I’m named after my great-grandfather.
Them: You’re named after an old guy?
When I was little, I had a hard time naming my stuffed animals; my rabbits were usually named Bunny or Bun-Bun (or, in the case of an orange bunny I had, Orangey) and my bear’s name was Bear-Bear. As I got older, the names got more creative. The snake I caught in my yard was named Sir Wednesday Mouser III until my sister let him out of his glass cage one day and he disappeared inside my house. My imaginary friends’ names were Annie, Mark, and Jenny, which, though not very exciting, were at least actual names.
When I got older and started writing stories, names became really important. I wrote a comic strip called Solemn the Lonely Bird about a penguin/toucan who was sad because nobody loved him. I also wrote “romance” stories in which the character who most resembled myself was usually named Annie or Ruby or Cleo and the man I ended up marrying was often Mark, Nick, or George. These names became significant in my own life; as soon as I met someone named Mark, I knew he was the boy I would fall in love with. As soon as there was a Ruby, she was destined to be my best friend. It never worked out quite like that…
And as with most females who are not in relationships and don’t see one coming in the near future, I have a really good time making up the names of the children I one day will not have. That’s right, I don’t want children. Granted, I’m pretty much a child myself so I don’t need to make the decision any time soon anyway, but they really freak me out. Sometimes I love them, sometimes they make me want to strangle myself, and sometimes I just have no idea how to hold them without breaking them. Anyway, I don’t really see myself having children, but I love making up their names. My sons will be named George, Julian, Charles (Charlie for short), and/or Wes. My daughters will be named Beatrix, Ginger, Julia, and something. I haven’t quite figured all the girls out yet; even though I like little girls better than little boys, I have a really difficult time naming female things (which is why it took me forever to pick out a name for my cat, which I thought would be a girl and then ended up being a boy anyway. His name is now Mickey, and I call him Bibbit. I have no idea, so please don’t ask).
So if I like your name, I will most likely either name my cat after you or stalk you and perform African-voodoo rituals on your shirts. You think I’m kidding? Just watch.