Mei by Any Other Name

A lot of people are trying their hardest to give their newborn children original and meaningful names. I wish they would think a little harder before they go with their first choice, which is almost always influenced by popular culture, and everyone knows you can't trust that. Also, people should consider that when I call roll on the first day of school, I'm probably gonna get that name wrong, so if you could at least spell your darling's name phonetically, I would appreciate it, thanks.

My own name has been the subject of many "jokes." I think many people are so impressed at their own cleverness that they can't imagine that I haven't heard exactly the same thing oh, a hundred bazillion times before.

My parents had few criteria for my name. Actually, they had two.

1. No names that rhymed with disgusting words. My name doesn't really rhyme with anything, for which I will always be grateful.
2. A rhythmic name that all fit together. My dad has a little dance to explain it. I'll spare you.

Still, being saddled with a name that is also a month has been a trial in itself. When I worked in a grocery store, there was always some joker who came out with the old, "[Mei]?! I thought it was August!" followed by raucous laughter and my (very) weak smile. There's also the ever-popular "What's your mom's name? June?" with more chortles and chuckles and my (barely hidden) eye rolls.

Some people are just curious. "Were you born in [Mei]?" they ask, and I always say, "Nope!" And then they act like I'm all deceitful and whatnot, to have such a misleading name! I don't apologize for having been born in another month, and I don't explain my parents' month choice, either, because I have developed a very Mary Poppins philosophy about it, that is, "I never explain anything."

The truth is pretty bland, anyway. My mom and dad just liked the name. My mom tried one time to give it some more ... importance, I guess, and told me that it was a close translation to what she wanted for my Assiniboine name, that being Spring Morning. I might have been fooled, except for the fact that we don't even speak any other languages, and we have never been involved in any Native American doings, and also that this was right around the time I was had seen Dances with Wolves and was very into my Indian heritage for like a month.

When I was in the ninth grade, I made a list of names that I would use for my own kids someday. I still have that list somewhere, and I know there's a Brittnee and a Geordinn (ha, see how trendy I am? How lucky are my nonexistent kids that I did not have them? Also, Geordinn is named after her [fictional] dad, Jordan Knight. I was awesome when I was 14).

Now that I've had lots--and lots--of time to dwell on it, I think I love my parents' Name Criteria. I refuse to do the dance, though.

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