August 2007


Dear Beastie,

I love you dearly. You know I do. But we need to chat.

First of all, I swear those strangers who keep coming into our house and whisking away our furniture are not burglars. They are giving us money (and lots of it!) in return for those crappy bookcases, futons, etc. And in a few weeks when we move into our new home, we will have brand-new shiny furniture for you to cover in dog hair. So you can stop barking at them and throwing yourself prostrate on the floor when I refuse to allow you to eat them. (Or lick them to death, more likely.)

Secondly, I don’t know if it’s the stress or the heat or what…but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY stop waking me up three times in the night to go pee. It’s bad enough having to get up for work at 4am two days in a row without having my five hours of sleep interupted over and over. All the coffee in the world isn’t helping today, and I’m pretty sure I could lay down on the floor right now and fall right to sleep.

Your attention to these requests would be greatly appreciated and should result in a restored sense of harmony in our home.

Love,

Mom

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J.P and Karen Jepp welcomed their identical quadruplets Sunday. The girls, who were born at 31 weeks and weighed between 2lbs 6oz and 2lbs 15oz, are all doing very well and breathing on their own. Go here for the full news article.

I know we’re all somewhat immune to newstories about higher-order multiples (ie triplets or higher), but this is pretty amazing when you think about it, because the Jepps (who have a two-year-old named Simon) weren’t using any form of reproductive assistance. Try to imagine that.

No, seriously, imagine having a singleton, conceiving number two, then going in for a routine check up and hearing it’s not just #2…but also #3, #4, and #5.

But here’s the part of the story that is of real interest to me: the names. Anyone who knows me at all, knows I’m obsessed with names. I love names, I love the linguistics of naming (the origin, derivation, meaning, etc), and I REALLY love hearing why parents chose a particular name for their child.

I love the name Simon, so I was excited to see what the Jepps would choose for their girls. Unfortunately, like so many parents, they apparently felt the need to “match” the girls’ names because they happened to be multiples. (Because clearly with four identical girls, things weren’t matchy enough already.)

They chose: Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia. (Doctors refer to unborn multiples as Baby A, Baby B, and so on. Did they neglet to inform the Jepps that this was not a binding contract?)

Of those, the only one that leaps out at me as a good match stylistically for Simon is Dahlia. This looks to me very much like a case of parents thinking, “Well, we HAVE to find names that start with A, B, C and D. Which names starting with those letters do we like best.” Rather than the obvious suggestions of just, I don’t know, CHOOSING THE FOUR NAMES YOU LOVE BEST.

Sorry. I got a little worked up there.

This sort of mindless heading of a random pattern reminds me of the Duggars. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have become minor celebrities thanks to a series of specials on TLC about their unusually large family . Michelle just recently gave birth to the youngest of their crew, number 17, little Jennifer Danielle.

Jennifer Danielle may not be the most original name in the world, but she fared much better than many of her other siblings, all of whom have names beginning with the letter J.

Someone needs to let these parents in on a little common sense. You don’t HAVE to create or follow a pattern when chosing names for your children. And if, in order to stick to the pattern you created, you find yourself:

(a) resorting to mangling the spelling of perfectly good names (For ages I didn’t realize Jinger was a “kreativ” spelling of Ginger and assumed it was a made-up named prounced just the way it looks.)

or

(b) running out of ideas and recycling names of older siblings (ie you name three of your seven daughters Janna, Joy-Anna and Johannah)

…then this just might be a clue that you should break the pattern and look to a new letter for names. I hear there are 25 other perfectly good letters out there. Give one of them a try.

1. Push your way in front of me in the “10 Items or Less” line when you clearly have more than 20 items in your cart and I am holding a single container of macaroni and cheese from the deli. Then, when the cashier finishes ringing up said 20 items, decide the total is too high and painstakingly select six items to be deducted.

2. Pull up beside me at a stop light in the left turn only lane. When the light changes, proceed straight through the light forcing me to swerve to avoid an accident. Honk at me as if this is somehow my fault.

3. Respond to my ad on craigslist regarding the bookcase for sale. Tell me you definitely want it and will be there that night to pick it up. Allow me to plan my night around you and waste my time giving you detailed directions to my house. Then wait. Wait and wait and wait. Then wait some more until I finally call and ask where you are. Inform me that you don’t have a car. Ask if I can deliver.

Tonight JP and I signed the lease on a condo. We’re moving in just over a month, and I can’t wait! I love this condo so much, that I’ve been reluctant to talk about it for fear of jinxing it. I’m not usually superstitious, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

Our new place is a big, open loft with the living area downstairs and our bedroom/bathroom upstairs. There is a spiral staircase that leads upstairs, where the bedroom is open and has a wrought iron railing. The loft only covers the kitchen/dining area, so the living room has vaulted ceilings and the far wall has floor-to-ceiling windows with a sliding glass door that leads to the balcony/terrace, which overlooks a park. It’s located in a country club with gated security (and a 24-hour doorman/gatekeeper), golf course, restaurant, fitness center, tennis courts, and three pools.

After living in our little basement apartment for eight months, it feels like paradise.

Dear Snotty Girl at the Cactus Car Wash,

Yes, I know my car was dirty. Really, really dirty. After all, that is why I was at the car wash. What would be the point of taking a clean car to the car wash? However, it was not caked in mud nor was there anything growing in the backseat. Therefore, I think it was a little unnecessary, the way you wrinkled your nose when you approached my vehicle. Also, I am unclear as to why you rolled your eyes when I asked for the standard car wash. I tried to ask if something was wrong, but you abruptly walked away.

When you came back, you asked me if I had ever had the car waxed. I’m sure you were trying to be helpful, but I almost couldn’t understand you as you choked on your disgust. I was so taken aback that I couldn’t form a coherent reply. I’m guessing from your patronizing, “You know, if you wax it occasionally, it might actually look like the color it’s supposed to be.” that you must have taken that my silence for a “no”.

I was a little embarrassed and very angry. I wanted very much to turn around and leave (even though I had no idea how to do so logistically, given that the driveway is one way, and I was, by all appearances, trapped). However, what you didn’t know is that I was having the car cleaned as a surprise for my girlfriend. She’s been complaining about how dirty it is for awhile now and I know it’s really bugging her. Also, we were supposed to leave in a half hour to get a friend of hers from the airport, so I didn’t exactly have time to take it elsewhere or do it myself.

Before your approach, I was feeling really good. In fact, I was brimming over with pride, just imagining Jamie’s face when she came home and saw the car glistening in the driveway. Thanks for taking that away and putting me in my place. Wouldn’t want to get a big head or anything.

The car looks nice and clean now, and I’m really happy with it. I think you might be right though. It could use a little extra something, and I think I’ll get it waxed next time I take it to be washed. Don’t worry though, I’ll be sure to take it somewhere else. I wouldn’t want to ruin your day again by showing up at your car wash with my dirty car.

Sincerely,
Annie

I might.