Hey cafeteria love-fest! My role-play tended to be [name]Charlie[/name]'s Angels, and I got to be [name]Jill[/name] because I was the blonde one. A bunch of kids from the neighborhood, we’d play some version of house called “Island” like Gilligan’s island and we made up names, so like if I were Mrs. [name]Howell[/name]-type, I’d pick a name that sounded wealthy, like [name]Daphne[/name] or [name]Penelope[/name], for example, and my bestie and I played “Jewelry Store” and I would actually take the name of the actress who played Mrs. [name]Howell[/name], [name]Natalie[/name]. Not that I was in love with any of those names, but I digress. Oh, before I forget, I remember my sister and her friends picking out “[name]Golden[/name] Girls” names once. Someone was [name]Mavis[/name].
I started making lists when my mom took out the book to name my younger sister. Before that time, I was already starting. My first role-play (just house, or occasionally, mansion) name that I always picked was [name]Sally[/name]. I think I went with [name]Patricia[/name] if we were playing mansion. I thought [name]Sally[/name] was a great and pretty name, and [name]Patricia[/name] sounded important and rich. As I got more sophisticated, lol, I noticed that feminized names sounded very long and posh. [name]Henrietta[/name] Pussycat was a huge influence, as was [name]Bernadette[/name] Peters. I wanted curly hair and to sing and dance and be adorable like her. She is still so awesome. I don’t remember her, but our neighbor children before we moved included a girl named [name]Lenore[/name], a name I liked a lot at the time and hadn’t thought in all the years of again until recently.
-------this line represents the beginning of the missing years-------
I know I consulted the baby name book a lot. I can’t say I read much as a child, not to fall in love with a name. I did try to cast myself into books though. I read a book called “[name]Carlota[/name]” and remember deliberating heavily over what my Spanish name would be. I think I came up with [name]Elisa[/name].
TV was a huge influence, but I can’t really remember liking a lot of names from it. It might have been too much of the [name]Laverne[/name] and [name]Shirley[/name], I [name]Love[/name] [name]Lucy[/name] and everyone had oldie names and I liked names more like my peers had. And then I started making lists for real.
-----------------these have been the missing years----------
A lot of the names that have come and gone or are just now getting their due were some of my favorites well ahead of schedule and subsequently revisit the lists and shake my head - what was I thinking!? Unfortunately, I have destroyed every list. Fortunately, I have a good memory.
I remember liking the name [name]Angelica[/name] a lot and then preferring [name]Angelique[/name]. So French. And [name]Wilhelmina[/name], so… SO. Also [name]Francine[/name].
This also brings up some idea that some feminizations weren’t as apparent to me if it was too altered from the root male name, as well as having a distinct period where I was completely unaware of what some of my (mostly male) peers’ full names were, like [name]Frank[/name], [name]Billy[/name], [name]Jimmy[/name]. Completely no idea.
I have at various times gone through a hippie-ish phase where I was enthralled by word names:
Kite. Yes, not [name]Kate[/name]! Kite.
Wendin (a little more fantasy-ish than wordly)
Here are some names I thought were just too cool - those unique names that someone cool has or in the same league, who I wished I was like and if I had a cool name it would have made a difference (LOL) and project this quality vicariously through children (Warning: some of them aren’t all that jazzy in retrospect as they were just outstanding at the time):
[name]Amelia[/name] -starting to see the “exoticism” in some weird place called grandma’s attic.
Really “disgusting” old or foreign names I didn’t realize at the time how uncool they were - keep in mind most of you all would have agreed 100% if you were there at the time:
[name]Jeannette[/name] or [name]Janine[/name], I could never choose!
Then some adult serious lists:
I swear I thought I “invented” or “discovered” some of these names (and proud of it too) with no outside input:
[name]Kayleigh[/name] (that song by Marillion is still so good!)
- also quite a few of the aforementioned were serious considerations through my 20s, like [name]Bridget[/name] and [name]Zoe[/name] and [name]Amelia[/name], [name]Zachary[/name] and [name]Sebastian[/name] and [name]Travis[/name]. At some point in my teens I pseudo-plotted to run away and change my name, and I think I couldn’t decide between [name]Amelia[/name] and [name]Zoe[/name], and this factor detained me. As well sometime in my 20s, I thought I could essentially change my name for the same effect, to dissociate from my family and “start over”, inspired somewhat by my maternal grandfather.
(Also missing memories of favorite odd boy names; the boy names were always shorter and contained list of absolutely-nots like [name]Robert[/name] and [name]Peter[/name] and [name]Gabriel[/name], 2 of which I no longer have a problem with).
Enter names like [name]Hudson[/name], [name]Timothy[/name], [name]Ethan[/name], [name]Donovan[/name], 3 of which are still top 10 or so for me. I tended to calm down my ideas to mildly sensible, reading enthusiastically the Beyond [name]Jennifer[/name] and [name]Jason[/name] books for sensible choices that fit with me.
I still like what may or may not be popular choices and ever more concerned with “real” names and names spelled correctly, who sound like real people. I revel in things and names that feel the least bit historical or “retro” as they say - the quality and aesthetic appeal of things as well as names from the close and distant past really intrigue me. I’m not as concerned with unique things but more aware of personal connections through time, treasuring heirlooms and nostalgia over random antiques and other kind of old stuff (although I like those too).
Considering how many lists I’ve made and destroyed in utter embarrassment, I’ve remembered quite a few. What an interesting trip!