I have a pet peeve about the names that people choose to give to their children and it is this:
I don’t like it when people approach naming their children the same way they would approach naming their dog. I’ve been noticing an increasing tendency for people to give their kids names that they think are cute or clever or funny or unique, when really they’re just stupid. The same goes for weird spellings. Do you want your kid to have his name pronounced wrong constantly?
But anyway, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about facial expressions and how they can get you into trouble.
Every day at work we have “morning huddle.” Morning huddle is where the day’s business is discussed and where a lot of unrelated chit chat happens. One topic in the morning’s chit chat the other day was an old employee who had come for a visit the day before. She had brought her kid. Her kid’s name was Espn. As in ESPN. As in the kid’s father really liked to watch ESPN so they decided to name their kid after a sports television network. (I can’t tell you whether the kid was a girl or a boy because I don’t know, and the name Espn certainly doesn’t give me any hints, now does it?) Anyway, when I heard the tale of the naming of Espn, my pet peeve blinkers went off. And I winced. Which is what I usually do when I hear about horrible names being given to children.
However, my boss happened to glance over at me right at this moment.
“Are you okay?” She asked.
“Are you sure? Because you look like you’re in pain.”
Here I was stuck in a bit of an uncomfortable situation. Now, while I do not like it when people give their kids stupid names, I also don’t like to hurt people’s feelings by telling them that I think they gave their beloved beautiful child a stupid name. But the mother in question was not there and my boss was quite convinced that I was hiding some secret ailment. So…
“Well…that name is giving me a pain.”
Luckily, no one seemed insulted by this. But I made a mental note to watch myself more carefully on future horrible naming occasions.
Fast forward a couple of days. I’m sitting around the living room at the volunteer house. Janet is talking about something that requires some mental figuring on my part. (I don’t remember what it was.) But, suddenly, she stops mid-sentence.
“Are you okay?”
“You look like you’re having cramps.”
I laughed. “No, Janet, I’m fine.”
So she resumed talking. Only to turn to me a few minutes later.
“Are you sure you’re okay? Because you really look like you’re having cramps.”
Yeesh, Janet. I think I would know if I was having cramps. I’m confused as to how a quizzical “let me figure this out” expression equals cramps.
But maybe her facial expressions are different than mine.
Or maybe I just have a really weird face.
Yeah, that’s probably it.