Thursday, November 11, 2010

Name Nonsense

Because my size 40 inch waist makes shopping for designer denim impossible, I accompanied my friend Joyce to find the perfect denim addition to her wardrobe. This was a good vicarious hit for me because Joyce is an avid cyclist and budding runner with very long legs so all the jeans looked good on her. While waiting for her to try on jeans, I sat outside her dressing room in all my prenatal glory. I struck up a conversation with the saleslady attending to the dressing rooms.

She asked me when I was due.

For as much as I bitch and moan about my size and girth, I am still shocked when someone knows I am pregnant. (Still shocked when someone gives me a seat on the train, and not just because most people are self-absorbed and unintersted in giving up a seat.) It makes no sense that I complain about how pregnant I look and then feel surprised when someone asks me about my pregnancy, but honestly, it makes no sense to push your offspring out of your vagina or have him lifted out of your sliced abdomen, either so we're not exactly dealing with logic.

Once I realized she was talking to me (the only person sitting outside the dressing rooms), I told her my baby was due on February 1st. She asked if we were having a boy or a girl. I told her it's a boy, and when she asked about names, I told her we were still searching for the perfect name. I may have mentioned that I was open for suggestions. In fact, I am pretty sure I told her to give me her best shot of a boy's name.

Without skipping a fetal heartbeat, she said, "I got a name for you."

Excited to hear this perfect name, I said, "What is it?"

She said, "Semaj." (Pronounced "se-ma-jay.")

Wow. Had she been waiting for a pregnant lady to come into her area so she could unfurl the majesty that is Semaj?

I asked her where she heard that name.

She said, "It's James spelled backwards."

Hmmmm. Of course. Why didn't I think of that? For every name we like, we can also spell it backwards and make an entirely new name. Ffej would be a nice name if we were going to abandon hundreds of years of Jewish tradition and name Meatball after Jeff. ("Come here, Ffej, time for dinner.")

I actually don't know how this backwards naming idea helps me, but it's a great example of a conversation that took place because I am pregnant, and let's face it: people are hilarious around pregnant women. The advice, the gestures, the speculations. I just love it. As long as people keep their hands to themselves they can suggest Semaj's all day long. It's funny. I believe people mean well. We are no closer to a name, but you never know when it might show up.

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