the baby name game

Sometimes, my awesome writing partner, Doug, and I, in an attempt to avoid, you know, WRITING, will go sit at Starbucks or some fucking cafe or restaurant here in LA — to, you know, WRITE — but in our bastard procrastination, will instead distract ourselves from our epic failure by playing a little game we like to call, “What’s That Fucking Baby’s Name?”

The rules are very simple and straightforward: You call upon all of your brilliant, unparalleled writerly powers of deduction (because, at this point, you SOITANLY ain’t usin’ them to, you know, WRITE) to read that Baby and his or her Parental Units and baby accoutrements UP the fuck and DOWN — and gauging by how Mommy and Daddy are dressed, coiffed, inked, and be-teched and by which stroller, diaper bag, clothing, and mode of sustenance are employed to keep him or her stylish and alive…YOU GUESS THAT FUCKING BABY’S NAME.

Now, if Mommy and Daddy look churchey or maybe a little Nascar Family and they order Thousand Island dressing on their salad and wear Oakley sunglasses and have French manicure Duck Feet nails and ombre hair, and still use a flip-phone because THEY COULD GIVE A FUCK — you can kinda sorta deduce that they probably vote Republican and probably still earnestly (as opposed to ironically), use a hotmail account to receive their email. In this case, that Baby is most likely named Jayden, Kayden, Brayden, Zayden, MacKenzie, Madison, Addison, or Ashley, with a few Mileys and Wyatts thrown in for good measure. These are all lovely and are, in fact, REAL, SALT-OF-THE-EARTH, no nonsense names, bestowed upon them because their parents loved them and thought they were just the right ones to give to their beautiful Babies.

On the other hand, Mommies and Daddies with Sailor Jerry tattoos, black hair, cuffed Levis 501s, original vintage Wayfarers, red polka dot dresses, and Betty Page bangs…who have a sky blue, vintage Ford Falcon parked out front with a Social D CD in the player installed under the dash and a license plate frame that says, “MAMA TRIED”, are usually the parents of Babies in Stray Cats onesies named Ace, Elvis, Lucky, Lola, Trixie, and Ruby.

THEN…there are the other lot. Babies with parents who have EVERY latest high-tech gadget imaginable — ALL MADE BY APPLE, OF COURSE. Mommies eating their vegan meals whilst updating their Etsy seller-accounts and wearing vintage patchwork thriftstore 70s dresses, gold wedding bands shaped like a twig and leaves, messy bangs and hair ribbon like Zooey Deschanel, and tattoos of The Giving Tree and Where The Wild Things Are on the backs of their calves, as well as cooking and crafting measurements permanently inked on their left hands…and Daddies with plain, non-stylized black-ink tatts of various old school kitchen cutlery on their forearms, inspired, of course,by their DIY home abbatoir/knife sharpening business (“Yes, we live in Echo Park and have a humane slaughterhouse in the garage right next to the Prius, as well as a free-range chicken-coop out back between the organic vegetable garden and the compost pile.”), boots and leather suspenders ala Pa Ingalls, an ironic center part , and olde timey configurations of facial hair and mustache wax not seen since The Shoot-Out at The OK Corral. These fucking Babies almost always bear artsy, olde world, quasi-pretentious, intellectually upscale monikers like Jasper, Arlo, Felix, Mingus, Olive, Clementine, and Clover, with a coupla Atticuses and Scouts occasionally tossed in for really good literary measure.

Now, you axe, how on earth do I KNOW what these fucking Babies are actually named? I know BECAUSE I JUST MARCH MY FATASS RIGHT UP AND AXE THEIR PARENTS. And they tell me…WITHOUT HESITATION.

EVERY single time.

Because they are SO bursting with pride at their beautiful little Babies…and SO VERY madly in love with them.

And every single time, I beam at them and their beautiful little Babies…and tell them what a lovely gift they have given him or her. Tell them what a gorgeous incantation they have spoken aloud…and what a magnificent spell they have cast.

And, because ultimately, they and I are of the same tribe — PARENTS — whether it’s ombre hair extensions or Betty Page bangs or even Zooey Deschanel be-ribboned quasi-bouffants — they always get it.



About muffybolding

Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
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