Some Names Come with Pressure

We have a relative named Joy who’s just about the happiest and most positive person I know.  I realize there’s a good possibility this sweet lady would have turned out that way even if she’d been named Agnes or Gladys, but I can’t help but believe her name has had a little something to do with her disposition. Seriously, with a name like that there’d always be that little voice inside saying, “Don’t even think about being grouchy, for gosh sakes. Your name is JOY!” The poor lady is getting old now and has health problems, but whenever she starts to get even close to complaining, you can almost hear the little click as she quickly switches to a positive topic. It makes me want to say, “Just pretend your name is something else temporarily. Go ahead and let it out. You’re almost ninety. Give yourself a break! ”

In a previous blog I told about a man who had an even harder first name to live up to: Amazing. The story has a positive outcome, but his entire life this guy teased about his name. Then there’s the name Angel.  My grandson has a little friend with this name. Right now he seems to be okay with it, but I’m guessing that could change soon.  And do I dare say it? There are quite a few people of Mexican heritage whose well-meaning parents named them Jesus. Now that’s pressure.

If I were to choose one of those old-fashioned “virtue” names for myself I would pretty quickly skip over Grace and Prudence, but I could go for Hope. In fact, Hope seems like it would be the ideal name. Not only would there not be all that much pressure associated with it, but who doesn’t want to feel more hopeful? I know I do.  Soooooo, I’m not sure what the rules are about just popping in a middle name, but maybe I’ll check into it.


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