“Hey!!! How about [name that you will now probably not choose because I just suggested it].”
When you start telling people you’re having a baby, certain things are going to inevitably happen. It’s like a chain reaction that is as certain and frothy as dropping a sleeve of Mentos headlong into a bottle of Diet Coke.*
As an expectant parent who’s spreading the word, you need to realize you’re now on a quiz show. Hands on buzzers, folks. You’ll be asked if you know the sex of the baby, or if you want to when it’s been long enough to tell if the macaroni is tube- or shell-shaped, etc., etc., etc., times infinity. But whether it’s a boy or a girl, you’ll ultimately get asked the Million Dollar Question: “Do you have a name picked out?”
Say yes. Lie if you have to. If they ask what it is, just say you’re not sharing it yet. If they press, just say it’s private, kind of like the front-row view of the baby as it comes out of the vagina. If they don’t appreciate that, it will at least shut them up.
Why try to stonewall any name suggesting? Well it depends on who they are, how close they are, and what your thoughts are on answering this question:
“[Daddy or Mommy], how did you come up with my name?”
Maybe your kid will go on to make it worse by eagerly asking if it was a favorite movie character, or one from a great book, or a famous sports or historical figure…
“Well! -ehem- My former boss actually came up with your name. During a staff meeting. You see, I’m an ass-kiss! And your mother and I? Yeah, we didn’t love you enough to think up a name for you on our own.”
Dear suggesters of baby names,
Choosing a name for one’s child can be a reeeeeeeally hard process. Some couples get pretty nutty about it. And by pretty, I mean ugly. It doesn’t need any added complication. So, unless you’re really close or some kind of mystical gypsy of baby names… SHUT YOUR MOUTH! You may be ruining name options when you suggest them! Even if they’re PERFECT!!!
Best case scenario: you steal a little something special away from the naming process. Or, worst case scenario: your suggestions are banished from the list of possible names. Just by you being the one who suggested them.
What if Morgan Freeman turned out to be named something else just because some well-intentioned but overly-excitable mailman leapt over a garden gnome to shout at his mom when she was carrying, “MORGAN!!! Name it Morgan!” Mr. Freeman’s voice just wouldn’t sound so crushed-velvet cozy as a Ralph, would it?
There’s an expression: too many chefs spoil the broth. But if you’re just a customer passing through the kitchen on the way to the restroom, don’t start dumping the contents of your pockets hand-over-fist into the pot.
Try to appreciate the situation, and think of your place in other people’s lives when they’re expecting. Name-suggest responsibly. Or at least limit your strokes of naming genius to the people you’re related to.
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