Growing up, I remember not liking my name at all. Maybe it was because almost every teacher I met from nursery till primary school couldn’t pronounce it properly, or would struggle to pronounce each time they came to my name (I could sense that it was me they were trying to call out), and perhaps I did want to fit in with my other classmates who had similar names (p/s: there were 3 girls named melissa, 2 named serene, 2 named jane amongst many others) instead of standing out, being unique & not being ‘popular’ on the pronunciation front.
I must have told my mom this several times because till today, I can still remember her same, deadpan reply : then I should have just named you ‘girl girl’ or ‘mary’; each time I whined about not having a common name after a day at school when someone had obviously mis-pronounced it, be it a teacher or a peer.
And when the adolescent years came and TV series FRIENDS starting becoming part of my TV watching routine, I asked mom why couldn’t she named me ‘Jennifer’, ‘Rachel’ or even ‘Buffy’ instead? Obviously, I yearned to be popular and have great hair.
Today, I absolutely love my name and the identity it has brought me. ‘Natasha’ is no longer as un-common as it used to be – I actually know 2 other awesome girls named Natasha; and while I still encounter the occasional slip-ups such as being called ‘Ma-ta-sha’ from time to time, or being acknowledged as a ‘mister’ instead of a ‘miss’ – it actually tickles me instead. On the work and interviews front, I’ve actually had people telling me that they remembered me because of my name (although I reckon having a unique surname tagged to it helps too…).
The husband loves my name (as I do with his, albeit self-chosen upon his baptism & confirmation), a church friend named her daughter (14 yrs my junior) the same after she met me (true story); and a few others I’ve met recently have mentioned that they would/did consider naming their baby princess ‘Natasha’ too.
So why this topic on names? Well now that we’re finally going to be parents (yay!) in less than 4 months’ time (God Willing), choosing a name for baby chungkin is obviously on the agenda. Between the Bo and myself, we’ve shortlist two that we love unanimously, and the great thing is we didn’t need any convincing on either parties because it feels so ‘meant to be’.
Baby chungkin’s name may not be the most unique or ‘uneqqee’; but I’m sure he won’t fuss over it. That said, I’m prepared for the day baby chungkin quips to me about his name being common or not. Me thinks it will be more of the former.
Son, that’s when mama & papa will also share with you how we came about giving you your name over a nice cup of ice-cream, coffee or alcohol (depending on your age).
[A post inspired by Kris's true-story joke:
Person A: Hi, my name is 'Ab-ceder'
Person B: Oh nice to meet you, what a unique name, how do you spell it?
Person A: 'abcde' ]