the games we play with names

In ALL, SNIPS & SNAILS by Stephanie Klein

We’re questioning it now.  Lucas.  Just the name, not the boy.  I’m worried it’s too mainstream.  We have absolutely no desire to change it, but we are thinking we need to liven it up a bit.  As he becomes older, he can certainly choose what he’d like to be called.  Like Ricky Bettan, who asked a question at one of my readings, and when I called on him by his name, he responded, "No one has called me Ricky since I carried a Trapper Keeper."  He’s since dropped the Y.  Or maybe he goes by Richard or Dick.  But I doubt it.  I’m beginning to have name envy, particularly for snobby little names that sound as if they’re surnames, boarding schools, or banks.  I’ve always said I wanted to marry preppy and have grosgrain babies with it. 

We’re considering calling him Luc.  Not Luck, but Luc, pronounced like Kevin Kline’s character in French Kiss.  French sounding, like Jean-Luc Picard, or Jean-Luc French Bistro on the UWS.  But realistically, no one in Texas will know what to do with that.  They’ll just call the boy Luke.  At least Luke is a hot boy name.  Besides, we’re not even French.  And as luck would have it, the real "Jean-Luc" is actually named, "Ed Kleefield."  It doesn’t get any more pretentious than making French out of Fred…or Ed.  Pass.

Think it will confuse him if we start calling Lucas by his middle name, Beckett?  I was surprised when Phil brought it up.  Usually I’m the one trying to impose changes for no good reason at all.  "I don’t want to confuse him, though," he said.  But I figure it would confuse him at 3, not at 7 months.  We might give it a shot.  Try calling him Beckett for a while, see how it fits.  I know it sounds strange, the idea of changing it up when we spent such a long time deciding… I just don’t know. Indecisive mother.There are worse things.  You know, like people giving themselves nicknames, or changing their last name from Cinigliario to Cannes because they believe they’ll be better received via resume.

I use all sorts of names with our boy anyway.  "How’s my little potato bug today?  Hmmm?  Sweet baby Lucas, are you going to give me the burpies now?"  I sound like an idiot walking around this house.  "Did my sweet corn chowder baby make poopy cocky today?  You did?!  What a sweet little cheese burger you are."  I’m insane.  Indecisive and insane.  So what’s Beckett going to hurt him?  Maybe we’ll just call him whatever Abigail decides.  Unless she calls him "slave boy" because that just won’t do.  I just hope people don’t shorten Beckett to Beck.  "Beck Beer" is only one S shy of being Germany’s number 1 export.