She just doesn’t have a given name.
She’s due in a few weeks and the Mullins family can’t decide on a name. And they don’t want to go the “Baby Girl Mullins” route. That’s so 1960s.
Nor will the Florida State Department of Naming Your Baby allow them to use a blank.
Those of you who have yet to parent, don’t scoff. It isn’t easy to name your baby. Whatever you decide will backfire. Give her an odd name so she’ll be unique and she’ll cry at 16 that everyone mispells her name. Call her Emma and she’ll constantly lose her coat to one of the other three Emmas in her class.
I speak from experience. For my first daughter, I constructed a list of names, cross-checked it against serial killers, bankers and persons who put mayo on their fries. I showed the list to children and badgered them into making up silly-rhyming, but cruel nicknames. Syllables were counted. Foreign language dictionaries were consulted to ensure my child would not hear snickering every time she or he was called to the hostel phone. Over nine months, names were added to the list, removed and restored. As it was the 80s, I even wrote a program to print every combination of the 40 names in the “Final Top Ten.”
As the due date arrived, I panicked. I announced the baby would choose his or her own name based on when he or she be born. Name A would be used if the birth minute was odd. Name B for an even number minute.
To this day she tells me both names were boring choices. She complains everyone misspells her middle name and that half the girls in her class have her first name. The other half have the other choice.
I relate that sad piece of my family history to provide a little explanation to the readers who haven’t been through the process. Those readers who can’t understand how April and Jeff could spend months looking through baby name books, web sites and 18th century Belgian romance novels* and still not find a name for their daughter.
The Mullins are at the end of their rope. They’re desperate to find a name they love. So desperate they’ve accepted my proposal.
Let the readers of Lakeland Local suggest names.
Don’t scoff. You’re qualified. You can read. You have excellent taste. You’re bright, inventive, and doggonit, people like you!
So, name that baby!
There are rules. There have to be rules.
1) No “unusual” spelling.
2) One single first name.
3) Her middle and last name will by “Ann Mullins” so don’t suggest “Ann” or “Mullins.” That would just be silly.
4) No gender-bending names. No matter how much you love your dear ol’ Uncle Charlie, you can’t name a girl Charles.
5) If your name is chosen, you won’t win anything, nor will you be expected to show up at Mullins family reunions.
Now, put on your thinking caps. Have a shot of tequilla. Meditate and autowrite…just come up with a name.
(* – It’s a completely untrue rumor that they consulted 18th Century Belgian romance novels.)