Thursday, May 14, 2009

What's in a Name......

The other day after picking up Tatiana and a friend from school we were all in the car and Tat was talking about various members of the family. As she was talking about them she was mentioning their names. Then out of the blue Tat's friend interrupted her and repeated some of the names Tatiana had just said....Desco, Janessa, D'aija and so on. Then she proceeded to say to Tatiana, "You are so black!" Of course the family members she was discussing were from Jamie's side of the family. Her friend by the way is Filipino, and her Mom is married to a black man. This gives her the "pass" to say that to Tatiana, or at least she thinks so! =) Was her friend stereotyping based on names...yes, but then as we started comparing names on my side of the family and Jamie's side of the family, it became abundantly clear that you could lay those two lists of names in front of someone and pretty much be able to guess what their background was. As the conversation went on, the more interesting it became. I will spare you anymore details, so here are the lists:

My side of the family...Stan, Terry, Lori, Tony, Danielle, Amy, Scott, Kasey, Lindsay, Tyler, Evan, Sally, Joe, Mike, Jennifer, Ben, Madison, Summer, Chris, Darcy, Nate, Drew, Jim, John, Rachel, Allyson, Elizabeth, Paul, Joanne...okay I could go on, but you get the idea.

Jamie's side of the family....Gigi, Charise, Shartice, Trennell, Xavier, Zander, Rosa, Jalisa, Stephanie, Sherome, Janessa, Shaaron, Sharaya, Saraiya, Desco, Dojanai, D'aija, Destinee, Paulk, Will, Art, and again you get the idea.

Clearly the two lists above are family members from very different backgrounds just based on the names. I love it! Whether we are black, white, brown, "green" or "purple," why do we choose the names we do? Is it to have a piece of our heritage, is it a family name, or do we just like the name? I picked Tatiana's name because it is Russian, and I am half Russian and half Swedish. I was adopted when I was a baby and nobody in my family is Russian. I found the name Tatiana from a book I read in college. I picked her name clear back then and stuck with it! I wanted my daughter's name to represent the part of me that I didn't have growing up.....maybe that's what's in a name, at least for me. =)


Shelley said...

I love reading these each day! Thanks for doing this Amy!

Amy said...

Thanks so much Shelley! I am having so much fun with it. Who knew I would have sooooo much to talk about! Every day I wake up and add something else to the list. It's wild. You don't realize all of the things you experience on a day to day basis until you actually start writing it all down!