You know how I never give out my last name on this blog? That’s because it’s very unusual and I don’t want my readers who are kidnappers to come and steal my children. But I have no qualms about telling you my maiden name. No siree.
Jennie Davis (not Jennifer).
If you google that name you come up with over 13,400 results. And from what I can tell, none of them are me.
There is a girl in my current ward who is named Jennie Davis and it’s very trippy. When I first met her I exclaimed, “hey, that’s my exact maiden name!” She shook my hand and replied blandly, “you’re about the 300th one I’ve met.” Aaah, the perils of being Jennie Davis.
In my high school class there were 90 girls. Two of us were named Jennie Davis. So I had to go by my first name and middle initial.
Do you think I find any of this cool? I do not. I always hated having a common name. Hated it. I longed to be like my little sister, Arianne. She could call people and simply say, “hi, this is Arianne” and they instantly knew who she was. I on the other hand, had to say, “hi, this is Jennie. Jennie Davis. The one in your English class.”
My mother claims to not have known that the early 70’s were overrun with Jennies/Jennys and Jennifers. I guess I believe her, but I still have to shake my head. How could she not know? They were everywhere!
I considered changing my name for a while. My mother told me I’d have to come up with the money on my own. $50 is a lot of money for a 4th grader. Especially with all those toys beckoning (I’ve always been entirely unable to save money. Ask my sister who was always loaning some to me. Or my husband. He’ll tell you all about my lack-of-saving skills.) I thought about changing my name in high school as well, but I figured changing it that “late in life” would make it confusing for everyone I knew. I completely wish I had, but I think it’s much too late for that now. Having kids make things like that complicated.
(Don’t even ask what name I was going to change it to because that name is now the password for half of the sites I visit on the internet. Sorry.)
Once I started having children I wanted to make sure they didn’t suffer a similar “generic name” fate. Even though we have an unusual last name I wanted to make extra sure they were the only kids with their names in their class, if not their entire school. So far I’ve done pretty well.
Jennie Davis is technically not my name any more. I dropped “Davis” when I got married and kept my middle name which is
super weird unusual and actually means something to me.
So the moral of this story is this: if you have a common last name be aware–please, please be aware–that you are going to have to go out on a limb to find your child an interesting name. Otherwise, your child will be writing blog posts in a dozen or two years about the trials of being named Emily Johnson.
P.S. Mom, do not comment about my last name, my middle name or your maiden name! Let’s make it at least a little difficult for people to find me, O.K?