Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Confessions of a rabid namist

Excerpt from a conversation I had Sunday night:

Me: "Have you ever dated a guy who drove a motorcycle?"
D: "Yeah, for about fifteen minutes. Stefan."
Me: "Stefan? Please tell me that was not his real name."
D: (laughing) "You're just a name snob."
Me: "Me? Tell me you've known one normal Stefan. Go ahead, tell me. I'm waiting."

My name is Bone, and I am a namist. In relationships, it has always been vital that I like the name of any girl I date (not to mention her voice). I mean, what's more important than those two things? And in general, I hold certain preconceived notions of what a person will be like as soon as I hear their name.

For example, I've never known a normal Eric. I figure all Jodys, Lynns, and Shannons likely have some complex and try to overcompensate because they have girl names. And is there any doubt whatsoever Todd is going to be in a fraternity and drive a German car paid for by his parents?

Meanwhile, Steve is a laid-back good-time party guy. Not really dumb, he just doesn't care. He coasts thru life. Or maybe that's just me basing my entire opinion of Steves on the 90210 character so spledidly portrayed by the incomparable Ian Ziering.

Oh, but about Stefan. I've only known one. He was a friend of a friend. Honest. (And by the way, it was STEH-fun, not stuh-FAHN.) In high school, our weekend entertainment was to walk around the mall until it closed at 9:00. Stefan would always be there. Every. Single. Time.

You could walk into most any store in the mall and ask, "Has Stefan been in tonight?" And they would know who you were talking about. It was like he lived in the mall. Think the movie Terminal, except in a mall rather than an airport.

Stefan had this permed hair, a little Kirk Cameron-ish except it was more wavy than curly. And I can't believe I just typed an entire sentence describing some guy's hair. He looked about thirty years old, though I always assumed he was close to our age.

He was a loner type. Think The Fonz, except not cool. And in keeping with that analogy, I guess the mall was his toilet. Occasionally, he might be seen with a couple of stray girls he had picked up in the mall--mall groupies, we called them--but he usually walked alone.

Stefan would always be talking about all these potential plans for later. "Well I might be going here" or "So and so is having a party, I might stop by there." But I never once saw him anywhere outside the mall.

Sometimes I wonder if he's still there. If I could walk into KB Toys today, mention his name, and the workers would know who I was talking about. But alas, I think I'd rather not know. I'd like to believe he is still there, if only in my mind.

"Now I don't blame him cos he run and hid. But the meanest thing that he ever did was before he left, he went and named me Sue..."


  1. Somebody with the screenname Bone is a rabid namist? Love that word--namist, not...

    Stefan hung out in KB toys? Uh most kids I know outgrew that store by seven

    this had me laughing out loud from beginning to end

    I have only seriously dated men whose names began with J, R, or M. Trying to break that cycle

    I have never heard of a boy named Shannon. Think there's a song somewhere...

    Only a Bone would admit to preconceived notions of people as soon as they hear the name

    We have discussed the name "Eric" I of course argued for it. OK you were right, but.....

    Loved the Stefan character sketch.

    courting destiny
    This might make me give up blogging

  2. I'm sitting here chuckling. I love names and this was right up my alley! BTW, Pia, I had a male student several years ago named Shannon. Not something I would pick, but...

  3. So, you know I'm wondering what you must of thought when you found out my name. And had you known others? I'm waiting. ;) Mall rats, I used to be one. Those were the good ole days!!

  4. "And I can't believe I just typed an entire sentence describing some guy's hair."


    I just sprayed my monitor, Bone. Hand me a towel, will you?


    Write From Karen

  5. ' What's more important than those two things?'

    lmao... on some level you are really right. I think that there needs to be a brain behind the voice though or it would really get tiresome! lol

    Just about every time I read a post of yours I am amazed at where your mind takes you! lol

    I have to say that when I dated I did think about the names (especially the last names) to see how my name rolled with it. Helene is a difficult name with lots of last names. (ya thats my real name... not Kate... oh no... my secret is out! hehehe)

    I never seriously dated anyone with an unusual name.

    I actually once went on a date with a guy because I really LIKED his name (It was Nathan Richard Perrry the 3rd... great name eh?!??!? Plus he had a convertible. Turned out it was a 1976 hug something or other... lol) he was a lot of fun!

  6. Pia: Yes, someone named Bone writing a post about names. I was hoping that irony would not be lost on anyone :)

    Put it this way, if I were taking applications for a roomate and one of them was named Eric and the other was not, I'd go with the one that was not.

    Thank you.

    Linda: Thanks. Glad you got a chuckle out of it. I knew of a couple of male Shannons in high school.

    Carnealian: What, you mean Trixie? I thought it had sort of a street smart, fun feel to it ;)

    No, seriously, I have no problems with your name. I once dated a girl with your name. She was actually the mother-liked-me-more-than-she-did girl in that post I did a couple weeks ago.

    Karen: Thanks. I keep meaning to have towels available on the sidebar :)

    Kate: Just about every time I read a post of yours I am amazed at where your mind takes you!

    I thank you for using "amazed" there. I'm sure lots of other words came to mind :)

    Yeah, a bad last name is really worse than a bad first name for a guy.

    Sounds British. Did he pronounce it "the thuuuuhd?"

  7. A rabid namist - it's about names? It sounds like an animal. I don't like to get personal, but my name is Sue and...oh, I get it...what if someone named me Bone? Okay. Well I'm on my way to the mall, just to check stuff out.

  8. i'm wondering if there was something he was avoiding at home... i know you aren't looking for philosophy here... but i really am wondering.....

  9. You left out a great one. I had a huge crush on our star quarterback: Courtney. Oddly enough the crush crashed when some of his MAKE-UP rubbed off on my cream sweater after a hug. He claimed it was "tinted moisturizer" . . but, ummm, is that really any better??? Names have the potential to be self-fulfilling prophecies.

    This was such a great post! I agree with the others. I marvel at where your mind takes you . . and, thankfully, where you take us.


  10. I'm dying to hear your analysis of my name. I also associate certain things with certain names and, like you, have never known a normal Eric. I'm still deciding what the name "Bone" brings to mind...

  11. Hummm I didn't date anyone with an unusual name that I can remember. But I did know a Todd who turned out just like you described...and I think that Steve did too for the most part.

    I sure hope that I didn't curse my child with an "non-datable" name. And I hope she doesn't bring home a Stepfan or a Todd...or I may just laugh in his face. but she's not allowed to date anyone until she's 35, so I've got loads of time.

  12. I am a false name enthusiast. Sometimes I spend hours at a time inventing new aliases for my pen name. Never once have I considered Stefan an acceptable fake name. I'm with you.

    Now Hank, that is a great name. Why did parents stop naming their kids Hank? Hanks kick Skylers asses in school yards every day of the week.

  13. Well I think I can safely say I'm not a rabid namist ;)
    Usually, I either end up liking someones name, if I really like the person or it doesn't really cross my mind.

    Oh, and I remember hearing of a study about guys rating a girl with, say, the name Monica under the picture higher in good looks than the same girl with a name like Mildred (or something) under the picture.

  14. Tumblewords: Well, I was using rabid in the "fanatical" sense, and I just created namist :)

    Paisley: Yeah, I never considered that at the time. He probably thought I was in the mall all the time, too.

    Lillith: I like the self-fulfilling prophecy line.

    Tinted moisturizer? LOL Wow. That's, um, interesting. Thankfully, I only wear non-tinted.

    Krista: Oh, I love your name. There was a cute cheerleader two grades ahead of me named Krista.

    I'm not sure I want to know what images "Bone" brings to mind :)

    Renee: Well if she does, maybe she can talk him into changing his name, like Elaine tried to do with one of her boyfriends.

    Herb Urban: Exactly. Growing up is tough enough. Why give a kid a name that's going to get him beaten up twice a week on the playground?

    GirlFPS: Ooo, thanks for chiming in with that study info. That fits perfectly with my post.

  15. I confess I'm a namist too... mightily dislike my own name, which is just too blargh! (Chaaaaar-lut)& I don't tend to get on with Pams (too precise); Vicki (fickle); Susans (superficial). Of course, there are exceptions, and I do not wish to offend any Pams, Vickis or Susans out there - I'm sure you're the NICE kind ROFLOL!

  16. omg I just realized I dated a guy named StephEn that drove a motorcycle once... ewe...thats a bit too close to StefAn!!!

  17. Great Post, Bone...very funny though I have been the victim of rabid namists.

    Sandy, a bitch, because most women who have that name are...sigh. :(

  18. My kid will NEVER be named Jennifer. I know some nice ones, but the name brings to mind two former friends who repeadedly stabbed me in the back in Junior High and College. Ugh I want to hit something just thinking about that name.
    Oh and the last name... I once dated a guy whose last name was Vaclavick. Oh and Buture that was fun I was called the Future Buture :( Kids are cruel.

  19. Hmmm, interesting. I wonder how you would judge foreign names? :), My name for instance gets slaughtered quite a bit, so I tend to stick with aliases - after all -

    "What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;

  20. I know a Stefan, he's a douche

  21. omg i am a namist too then. i do that, all too often.

    this post made me laugh. :) great refs to old tv. classic bone!

  22. Charlotte: Haha. I like your namist stereotypes. And yes, there are always exceptions to the rule.

    Kate: Wow, that's coincidental. But to me and my warped namist mind, Stephen is tons better than Stefan :)

    Sandy: Aww, well you've just had more to overcome. You're fighting to change the stereotype. I can honestly say I don't think I've had any bad associations with any Sandys though :)

    Melanie: I'm laughing out loud at Future Buture. And I *may* have dated a Jennifer once. Relax. Breathe in, breathe out. It'll be fine :)

    UL: I don't really have a lot to go on, so I probably wouldn't have very many bad associations with foreign names. Unless it was like Adolf or something.

    HotPink: And now you know why :)

    Sizzle: Glad to know I'm not the only one. Thanks much, Ms. Sizz :)

  23. Just couldn't resist finding out more about this on Wiki! There is a name for studying proper names. Go figure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomastics
    Can you tell that I really do not want to work today?

  24. I think it's funny that you knew him in high school, yet you'd go back to KB toys to ask about him.

    I had a boyfriend in junior high named Stephan. His parents owned a nursing home. Does that put him in the same category as your Ste-fan?

    BTW, he dumped me after two weeks.

  25. bet you've not known any "Sages," eh? Good writing!

  26. I totally understand this post. There are names I simply do not like and most definitely voices I don't like. Years ago I had an online friend that I talked to a few times on the phone with and I swear he sound like a smarmy pervert.

    And guys that I can count on liking me start with "J". (yes, I married one) :)

  27. Um, a man by the name of Bone with a fish he saddled with the name of GabeKaplan is ragging on other people's names? *er*

    Don't mind me while I sing a little Alanis to myself...

    I've always hated my own name. Always. Maybe if I'd changed it I'd be married with kids by now? Hmm, something to blame my parents for anyway O:)

    I guess names for men don't bother me that much because you can always give them a new name. You know, one of those ridiculously mushy "couples' names." Or just something stupid that only the two of you find fun. I excel at nicknames. No seriously, I'm a pro at giving them. I worked with a man from the Czech Republic in Arizona five, err, six years ago now, whose name was Waldemar. I couldn't pronounce it for anything in the world. He told me his nickname, which essentially sounded like "Vallll-dick." No way, no how. So I started calling him Wally. Within two weeks, every single person on that property called him Wally. Even the other foreigners.

    That said... for girls, I hate the name Heather. I've known a LOT of Heather's in my life, and only one or two decent ones. For men, I think you're pretty spot-on in your descriptions. I've found it's the ones with the nice, normal, almost somewhat boring (traditional?) names that I always fall for. Don't know why.

    Now, about a good voice... I'm a sucker for a voice. I've been known to do some really stupid things for an amazing voice. Sigh. Yeah, I'm "that girl" that really requires nothing more than a good voice. There are voices I could - and have - listened to for hours.

    I met a super cute guy in Kentucky a couple of years ago... whom I always wanted to tell to shut up. Because the very first second I heard his voice... he no longer was cute.

  28. You may have dated a Jennifer at one time? So I suppose that name has all sorts of negative connotations for you now ;). I think there were probably about ten of us in my graduating class of 1989.
    There are a few names that I have issues with too...but mostly for personal reasons.
    I, too, thought it was funny that a guy named Bone would be particular about names...but you have as much right as anyone, I suppose ;)!

  29. Namist, hehe. Y'know, if you really like the girl but can't stand her name, you could always give her a nickname that you like:)

  30. "And is there any doubt whatsoever Todd is going to be in a fraternity and drive a German car paid for by his parents?"

    Holy crap, you just decribed my senior research advisor to a T!!! At least, that's how he was when he was in college.

  31. If you'll remember back to the hit TGIF show, Family Matters, Stephen Urkel occasionally drank some potion that turned him to a cool guy instead of a nerd turd. When he was the cool guy, his name was Stefan Ur-kel.

    Now THAT is what a Stefan is.

  32. Okay, I'm wondering if the girl you met dated my brother, for 15 minutes. Because my brother's name is Stefan, STEH-fun, not stuh-FAHN, and he owned a motorcycle. He does not like the mall.


  33. Okay, I'm wondering if the girl you met dated my brother, for 15 minutes. Because my brother's name is Stefan, STEH-fun, not stuh-FAHN, and he owned a motorcycle. He does not like the mall.


  34. I think you should test your theory! Surely there's a child in your life (even if it's the child within yourself) that you could shop at KB Toys for . . and while you're there you could ask if Stefan's been in, say, in the last 15-20 years. :) Go for it!

    I went to school with a John Wayne. He was always in trouble. In the third grade he attempted to run away from school, he just bolted for it one day: through the glass double doors and down the block. It took a very muscular teacher and a police cruiser to bring him back to school. Now, I ask you, if you name your child John Wayne do you expect him to be a rule follower?