Thursday, September 08, 2005


I’m an aunt! My brother and his wife just had a baby yesterday. Well, really, Stephanie had the baby while David did good support work from all reports. He looks thrilled in the pictures. And the baby is cute cute cute. There’s one photo where she’s making a face that looks exactly like my grandmother in a snit. I surprised myself by getting all teary and watching the slideshow of the 20 photos my mom sent about 50 times.

My first niece’s name? Imogen Towriss Butcher.

Good god. The first name was bad enough, but what the hell are they trying to do? I can see wanting something unusual and different, but by jesus. That’s an albatross of a moniker. Every time I tell someone her name is Imogen, they look confused and ask me to spell it, and then say “Huh, where’d they get that?”.

Towriss is my paternal grandmother’s birth name. In the phase when I hated the last name Butcher, Towriss was a potential new last name. So I like it, but as a middle name. No one knows how the hell to pronounce that, either.

If they wanted a paean to my gran, why didn’t they call their baby Fern. It’s granny’s middle name, as well as being pronounceable, old fashioned and sweet.

My sister’s response to our niece’s name was to say “Then again, our family is weird. Especially David.” But I don’t know. David is just about the most normal person I know, if you define normal as within the norm. He’s always aspired to the rural/suburban life – wife, kids, dogs, house. Weird for the kids in our nuclear family, normal for much of North America.

Anyway, weirdness or normalcy aside, I have a very very cute niece and will get to go home and hold her at Thanksgiving. I will henceforth not kvetch about her name, but appreciate that she is around – safe, healthy and sound – to be named at all.

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