In a World Full of Heathers, I Was Jean

In a World Full of Heathers, I Was Jean

Say Your Name: Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Much like my conception, my name was not planned.

In fact, my parents were so ambivalent about my impending birth, they didn’t give my name much thought until they were on the way to the hospital.

My dad said, “We should probably come up with a name. What about ‘Jean?'” My mom said, “‘Ok.'” And that was that.

In my parents’ defense, I was their fifth child. They had just done the whole dog-and-pony show 15 months prior and were running out of options. They were just tired, the poor things.

I felt that way naming our second daughter. With our first daughter, it was as though we were picking a Pope. My husband and I donned red robes, put potential names on ballots, burnt the castoffs until one was finally chosen and then sent the final name out into the ether in a puff of white smoke.

By the time we were pregnant with our second child we just didn’t have the energy. We gave her a name my mother always liked and called it done.

So I can only image how my parents felt naming their fifth child.

They were so tired, they didn’t realize they had already used the name as my sister’s middle name until after the ink had dried on my birth certificate.

So, in a way, my name was the first hand-me-down I got from my sister.

I’m sure if she had the capacity for deep thought at age 15 months, my sister would have rolled her eyes and said, “I’m going to have to share everything with her now, aren’t I?” And the answer would have been yes.

I have never liked my name.

You could say it sounds vaguely French, but I grew up next door to a Danielle, so …

Also, it’s an old lady name and I was born in an era where it was not trendy or cool to give your daughters old lady names.

Sure, it was different, but it’s like how having an eye patch is different.

I wanted to be a Jessica. Or a Sarah. Or a Sara. Or a Heather.

I remember when the movie Heathers came out, I instantly associated with Winona Ryder’s character since she was not a Heather. She was a Veronica. She wasn’t a Jean, but still…

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It was tough not to want to be Winona Ryder in the 90s, wasn’t it?

Maybe hating your name is in your DNA.

I recently asked my oldest daughter, Amelia, – you know, the one who’s name we put so much effort into choosing – if she liked her name. She glared at me.

“No. It’s tough to say. It has too many vowels.”

Huh. Well, f*ck me gently with a chainsaw.
Say Your Name

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26 thoughts on “In a World Full of Heathers, I Was Jean

  1. That’s kind of how it worked out with our fifth child too… it was more of a “how about?” and “ok!” as opposed to consulting the oracle on the matter. Good share, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have 4 boys and with the first 3 we (i.e. me) had first and middle names picked out far in advance making ever so sure they were perfect. With boy 4, we were picking a name the day we were leaving the hospital!

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      1. If baby four had been a boy, it would have been ChrisImeanIvnoLeowaitheyyou (Chris-I mean – Iv- no- Leo- wait hey you). Cause that’s what we say around here most of the time anyway. And just so you know, sometimes I wander onto your blog and pretend I’m 24 again…we miss you, and Shawn, and that little slice of Austin awesomeness.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! My mom did that with our names all the time! And I love that you have four babies now 😊 we miss you all too! One of these we need to make it back to Austin do we can show Amelia where it all began!

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  3. I was nearly a ‘Jean’, but thankfully my Dad got to the registry office before my Mother could do that to me…sorry, no offence meant, honestly. We put a lot of effort into my eldest daughter’s ‘Leah’ too, she’s about as impressed as your Amelia is. I love the name Amelia! Bloomin’ kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely no offense taken! Jude is WAY better! I have a niece Leah! Such a pretty name, even is she doesn’t appreciate it 🙂

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      1. I’m not really a Jude, I’m a Judith. I’m just trying to sound all cool. Epic Fail, as the kids used to say a while back… I like Leah too, but my husband decided it really. I was too busy trying to breast feed my new born to care what her name was, haha! It has too many vowels apparently.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. For sure. 🙂 I always get a kick out of parents who decide they want to see their kid before deciding on the name. My kids were never that lucky. Jean is an awesome name, btw.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So spot on here! I was a Judy in a sea of Jodis and Julies and Jennifers. The only Judys I knew were my friends’ mums! I laughed out loud at the “double-Jean” in your family! I too, feel like we put so much time and effort into our first-born (Harris) that when our unexpected set of twins came along, I was too exhausted and said “okay” to whatever my partner’s colleague suggested one day. Luckily we had girl/boy twins or it would have been even more difficult trying to come up with 2 more boy names after we’d chosen the best one for our first!

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    1. Thanks Judy! I loved the story of your name! You definitely win the prize for most unique! And twins? My goodness I would have never survived that naming process. They would have been Thing One and Two 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wasn’t there a lovely top forty song about Jean? Jean, Jean, You’re young and alive…sang by Bobby Goldsboro, before you were born most likely. Never liked that Dude’s singing. But it’s a good solid name. You could cute it up to Jeannie, as in I dream of, lol. Or use your middle name with it always if it’s fitting–Jean Louise, Jean Marie, sounds so french fried! What is your middle name anyways?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s Jean Marie 😊 that definitely makes it sound more French. I went be Jeannie until it was time to learn cursive…the fewer letters I had to use the better. I will look up that Bobby Goldsboro song 😊 people quote me Daydream Believer by The Monkees quite a bit

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Always loved that song, Jean! It actually was written by Rod McKuen and the version I remember was sung by Oliver (I’m really dating myself)!
      I was okay with my first name, because it was different, and I liked that. But before marriage I had a difficult-to-pronounce Armenian name, which was positively slaughtered by everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

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