What’s In a Name? Would A Rose Called Monkeyrind Flapjack Not Smell As Sweet?

I met my friend Charity* during my first year of university. She was a shy, but academically driven student whereas I was a loud, party and boys obsessed person who often made it to class. Whether I was in any state to learn upon arriving to there was another thing, sometimes I’d walk in when it was twenty below out in just a t-shirt and short shorts while mouthing “laundry day” at those I passed. Other times I’d run in after the lecturer had started speaking, taking the stairs three at a time while sloshing my beverage everywhere. I almost never had my notes.

Not surprisingly, Charity wasn’t keen to hang out with a hot splashy mess. At first I sat next to my long suffering lab partner Niles*. This unlucky young man and I became friends because his habits of ironing his pants before class and wiping down plastic seats with his cloth handkerchief before sitting, let me know that this was a guy to follow- not only would he for sure have his notes printed off beforehand, he would be able to explain the concepts when I was totally lost. Because who else travels with a cloth handkerchief but the incredibly well organized? While Niles allowed himself one ditzy, flaky friend, the rest of his posse, including Charity, was academia and success bound whereas as I had more royal aspirations, specifically Prince Al’s, the diner frequented by students after the bars closed.

After some time, Charity and I became friends too. Charity quickly revealed herself to be the most responsible person I had ever known, despite being two years younger than me. She used breaks between classes to study, talked about studying more in the evening, was a writer for the science paper while aspiring for the post of the editor and played piano in her spare time. By contrast, if left to my own devices, I would head back to my residence for a nap any chance I got, studied infrequently and my extra-curricular activities consisted of macking on my boyfriend.

Charity regularly shocked me with her ambition and her ability, landing a coveted research grant during our second year. But even after witnessing all of her triumphs, when Charity revealed that she had named not only herself but her younger brother as well, I was shocked. One lives with their first name for a lifetime, bestowing that sort of power upon a child seemed unfathomable to me. I can recall distinctly going through as least four phases where I asked my mother (who refused) to call me something else; Tracy, Krissy, Jasmine, the list goes on. The fact that Charity managed to choose her English name at six years old when her family emigrated from China and stick with the moniker impressed me to no end. When she added the part about her sibling, I was utterly flabbergasted. Had I been given the same power, Diana would be known as Princess Sparklehorn right now, or some other equally ridiculous title.

Conversely, Charity managed to give herself a name she liked and continues to live with. Her brother also still goes by the name Charity picked. As a result, Charity’s offhand comment that she regrets her choice of Unwashed nom de plume, on a Facebook thread about my last post caught me by surprise. To date, she is the only person who has picked their pseudonym on my blog. Four years ago, I was writing a lot of nonsense about naïve people in my life with hearts of gold and giving them stripper names like “Candy” just to be funny. To keep with the theme Charity chose her name here thusly, there was no way for her know that my blog would endure or that my focus would shift from strippers to bunnies.

Anyways, this is a long way of saying that I’m giving my friend the opportunity to change her name here. Because if one must have second thoughts about christening a person, it’s better that it should be in blog form; there’s less paperwork involved in changing it. So far for legal titles which end up on passports and driver’s licenses, my friend is two for two, let’s all wish her luck because in February that number will change to three when she has her little girl.

As for her online presence here at The Great Unwashed, I’m probably going to suggest that my friend shy away from the bunny theme; one never knows when I’ll take up a fascination with armadillos or blenders thus rendering all things Playboy passé.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those who are more intelligent than me and therefore able to carry out devious plans involving salmonella or some other such unpleasant species that they’ve worked with.

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6 thoughts on “What’s In a Name? Would A Rose Called Monkeyrind Flapjack Not Smell As Sweet?

  1. When I had a five year old and was almost ready to give birth to my son, she desperately wanted the honour of naming him, but couldn’t think of the right one. One day, after staring at the ground, for at least 15 minutes (which is, like, hours in kindergarten years) she decided on Tar. I didn’t know if I should be disappointed at her name choosing abilities or thrilled at her vocabulary and knowledge on paving materials.

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