Today, I came across a Memorandum. Not the office notice. But an actual person named Memorandum! When I first heard her introduce herself, my face remained calm and friendly, while inside, my mind slammed the brakes and I was like, Say What? Come Again? Karma Chameleon?
Then I started thinking of all the unusual names of people I've met. The ones that jump out immediately are a girl named Shondeleer (named after the glorious lighting fixture, Chandelier!); a fellow named Seven (not because he was the 7th child--he's the 2nd--but because his father was playing the Lucky 7s slot machine at the casino and hit the jackpot ($1000) the night he was born); a girl named Veranda (after her grandmother's favorite place to sit); and a guy named Tornado (you guessed it, because he was born during a tornado!).
I don't understand what possessed these parents to name their kids so. And I can't help but wonder if there should be a baby naming authority that approves or denies names parents want to give their offspring. It would certainly make life easier for the kids who don't have to be bullied or made fun of because their parents gave them strange names. And let's be honest, you have heard some silly and questionable ones over the years.
Poor Seven, people thought his name was a typo, so they kept calling him Steven and identifying him so on printed forms at meetings. Same for Veranda, who was usually rechristened Miranda. And Shondeleer always surprised people (with their own prejudices) by assuming she was Black, an African American; she's not. That girl is White! And Tornado got raised eyebrows every time he was introduced. People assumed it was a nickname from his wrestling/boxing days.
Seven is a cool name. Naturally, we nicknamed him Lucky. Not so sure about Shondeleer, but I suppose it's better than being called Sconces or Lamp. Same with Veranda, better than being identified as Covered Porch or Deck. And Tornado is an awesome name, much better than being named after other disasters like Sinkhole, Flood, Drought, or Oil Spill.
I was very curious about how Memo (as she liked to be called) got her name. But I kept my mouth shut to be polite and to be professional. Still, she must have sensed something or learned over years of experience with curious (possibly rude, nosy) people to just get it over with and tell us how she got her name. You could hear a pin drop in the silence that ensued as coworkers, pretending to work, strained to hear her explanation.
Plain and simple. Her mother worked briefly in an office, before getting married and becoming a stay at home mother at a young age. She loved the word Memorandum from her brief office days. She thought it was pretty. And her father was ok with naming her so.
After Memo left, the office was abuzz with her unusual name. A few cracked jokes. Some shared stories of other unusual names they've heard. I kept my opinions to myself. A person's name was their own. And they could always change it if the one their parents gave them doesn't quite fit.
Still, I couldn't help but wonder: Well, I suppose it could be worse. At least her mother didn't name her Facsimile, or Xerox, or Conference Call. Or worst yet, Stapler or Paper Clip or Post It.
Destiny's Child: Say My Name