I've commented before on the oddness of names. They fascinate me. The labels we carry into life. For good or for bad they help define our personalities. The can affect how people perceive us even before we've met them. And yet so many parents seem to think only of the sound and not of the burden a bad name can create.
One of my fellow volunteers just showed me photos of her new granddaughter. Not doing babies I commented non-commitally about the wrinkled pink creature she was oohing over. And, of course, I asked what her name is.
Really? It's 2010 and you've named your daughter after Miss Iowa 1934?
Luella has two older brothers. Spencer and Morgan. Typical 21st century Hollywood-wannabe "cool" name. They'll fit right in with all the Madisons and Codys in their school. And given their names, you'd think Luella would have ended up as Brittany or Shea. But no, she's a Luella.
Now those of you who know me will be surprised I didn't immediately blurt out "god lord, why?" when I heard the name. Luckily, I didn't have to. As soon as grandma told me her name she instantly added "horrible, isn't it?" Well, yeah. I gotta be honest. I think it's horrible. No offense to any Luellas out there. But really, in today's society, it's a name that doesn't need to be given to anyone.
I asked grandma if Luella was a family name. She said no, with a laugh. And she says she and her husband honestly expect her daughter and son-in-law to either change it or start calling her by her middle name.
Which is, matching with Spencer and Morgan, Clio.