A few weeks ago my wife and I found out we were finally having a baby boy. After a night- long search through online baby name sites, we decided to call him Parker and emailed an announcement. The good news prompted a phone call from my sister-in-law in Texas.
“Congratulations!” she told my wife. “How long ago did Danny come up with that?”
“With what, the name?” my wife replied. “We came up with it together.”
“No, the initials. You know, G-O-P. I figured that had to be his idea.”
For the record, yes, my children’s initials – Grace, Olivia, and Parker – will replicate the honored nickname of the Republican Party.
Also for the record: what kind of a right-wing nut job do you think I am? Of course it wasn’t intentional.
It might have been, had I thought of it, but I didn’t. It’s just a happy accident of fate.
I must say, after examining the evidence, that I’m flattered that people think I could have pulled it off. There’s no way my wife would have bought into it, so I’d have to successfully lobby – three times – for the name of my choice. If successful, I’d still have to hope and pray for the right gender each time. The “O” alone would have stopped me if I’d had a boy back in the day. Oliver? Orlando? Octavian? Ain’t happening.
And what happens if you have a fourth child? What then? Do you just call it quits on the initials, or do you become truly creative? You can’t pluralize ‘GOP’, so by necessity birth control would go out the window. Perhaps a ‘GOP KID’, or ‘GOP STAR’. Maybe you start a new set. For the bi-party couple, might I suggest ‘DEM’ or the ever popular ‘JFK’?
Of course, if you’re planning that far ahead (and can afford that many mouths to feed) you might as well go all out. Why not scrap ‘GOP’ and shoot for ‘REPUBLICAN’?
(Although I admit the ‘U’ would be a stumper. Perhaps a fan of Last of the Mohicans could use ‘Uncas’? Granted, he would be beat up daily on the playground. But, as a Republican, at least he’d be beat up daily at a good private school.)
Not to be outdone, my Mother proved she’s just as good at the ABC’s by questioning my motives on the whole subject. As a lifelong Democrat that still has a crush on Kennedy (John, not Ted. The woman has standards) she took it pretty well. Still, she was relieved to know it wasn’t intentional – which, as the difficult black sheep of the family that I am, made me wish it had been.
Frankly, no one in their right mind strings together sibling’s initials. That someone – much less two people – determined a pattern where it doesn’t exist is just plain loco. That both are related to my children makes me question our gene pool.
Now, not to spoil anyone’s fun, but I’ve had second thoughts about using the name Parker. We chose it for nothing but it’s own sake, but cloaked our decision in references to Robert B. Parker (the author), and of course the one and only Spiderman, Mr. Peter Parker. These references make me question my own contribution to my gene pool.
Besides I like the name and all, but to attach a WASP-ish name like Parker to an eleven letter Polish surname might be over the top. Sort of on the order of someone in Connecticut calling their son ‘Ivanovich Smith’. It fails to ‘roll off the tongue’.
But then again, with my name, what would?