Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Name Game

I have this horrible habit of insulting names in front of the worst possible people. Like at Mutual one night, my fellow Laurels and I were discussing baby names.

Me: I like Gideon. I like that it's Biblical, but not weirdly Biblical, like Isaiah or something.

Nearby MiaMaid advisor: My baby's name is Isaiah.

The worst part is that I didn't even mean to say Isaiah! It was just the first Biblical name that popped in my head--it isn't that weird at all. I meant to say Methuselah or Nebuchadnezzar. And reader, if your baby's name is either of those, he has a weirdly Biblical name.

Not a baby's face.

Another time, while with my best friends (before they were my best friends--because I couldn't have been this stupid if we'd known each other very long), with the baby names again.

Me: I don't like the names that could go both ways, but that are basically girl names, like Tracy or Kelly. Which is ironic because Kimber is a derivative of Kimberly, which used to be exclusively a boy's name.

Amanda: My brother's name is Kelly.

Gah! Awkwardness. It was a miracle we made it to be best friends after I was such a dork. Amanda, your benevolence is amazing. I am such a foot-in-mouther. I was going to put a picture of foot and mouth disease in under here, but they are too gross. Google it if you dare. They aren't nearly as bad as oral cancer pictures, though, speaking from my middle school health class experience. Instead, here is a pleasant picture of my baby grabbing his feet (while being hypnotized by the ceiling fan).

Because I'm so opinionated about baby names, picking a title for my little dude was no easy feat. Especially when I had to agree with someone else about it. In fact, Graham had to go nameless for a few days while we worked out all the details. The challenge was this: Nathan loves traditional while I love nontraditional. Not much of a Venn diagram there.

After a lengthy selection process, we settled on Graham Steven Albrechtsen. We chose Graham because it's a legitimate name (pleasing Nathan), but it's not very common (pleasing me). Also, it means "home" and "rocky place," which we thought was very neat (house upon the rock, you know). His middle name is Steven, after my dad, and his last name is our last name because Nathan insisted on not hyphenating. Just kidding. I insisted on not hyphenating. And then I cuddled Graham in the kitchen, barefoot.

I am pretty fond of my own name, but it wasn't always this way. When my family moved to Boise, I decided to drop the "ber" and go by just "Kim."

Middle school "Kim," in gross need of conditioner

New friend in Boise: Why don't you go by Kimber?

Me (naively non-hesitant): Because I think the "ber" sounds like "barf." I pretty much dislike all b-r sounds. Rubric is the word I hate the most.

New friend: Hahahah. Kimbarf!

So Kimbarf was her nickname for me for the next six years.

I really really love my husband's name. It's solid. Almost a palindrome. It can be shortened to Nate (the Great). It's common, but not trendy. I've liked many a Nathan in my life. Like Nathan Steed from the Work and the Glory series--isn't he everyone's favorite? Until he and Lydia get old and boring, and then it's all about Will (my mother said that if I ever named a child "Will" she wouldn't give him Christmas presents).

Nathan Steed and his awesome messenger bag.

Then there was Nate Eshenroder, the ASB president when I was a sophomore in high school. Did I ever speak to him? Never. But at the football games he'd ride around in the ASB golf cart doing who knows what, and I pined. Until one of my best friends revealed she also had a crush on him, and she actually had a class with him, and real conversations ... so I surrendered our romance for the sake of friendship. And when I saw him at BYU years later, he was very short.

And finally I got my own non-fictional, tall, non-high-school-stalkee Nathan, the best Nathan there is. And my mother bought me this water bottle to commemorate my 21st birthday (which came just over a week after our wedding).

I would go into last names in more depth, but between the pronunciation and spelling difficulties of both my married and maiden names, I start to get that panicky feeling like you get when your fingers are in a Chinese finger trap and for the shortest of moments you believe that your fingers are really, permanently stuck.


  1. Oh man, this one made me laugh out loud. Such great anecdotes. I know Nate Eschenroder, he's pretty cool. But you're right, he's short. I'm glad you got your own Nathan. I'll be interested to see what you name your future children... :)

  2. Grammber has found his TOES! Such a momentous milestone for the young man. I love that stage. I'm so glad you guys are coming back. And I love you blog. =)

  3. I totally had a crush on Nate too! He is such a great guy! You should do a blog about your place, we want pics!

  4. I also laughed out loud! You captured the essence of high school crushes so well!!


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