An insider's tip:

You know how you get the Pottery Barn Kids catalog like eighteen, nineteen times a month?

And you know how they feature incredibly cute if pricey items monogrammed with children's names: Benjamin's pillow. Violet's music box. Samuel's $70 we-swear-it's-not-a-choking-hazard beanbag.

Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that Pottery Barn is featuring the most popular names with the hopes of selling more pillows and music boxes and $70 beanbags.

If you should find your child's unique name on the cover (gasp!) it does not mean that you should prepare for the onslaught of similarly named children in his preschool class. It does not mean your sweet little Iphigenia will forever more sign all of her art projects Iphigenia R. as to differentiate them from those of Iphigenia P. and Iphigenia G. (As if we couldn't tell the difference! Iphigenia G's fingerpaints invoke a sort of post-modern respect for negative space while Iphigenia P. is clearly more influenced by the neoclassicists.)

It does not mean that your child will be doomed to a lifetime of obscurity, mediocrity and quiet desperation.

What it does mean is this:

The art director (or prop stylist or photographer or photographer's assistant) has a child (or niece or nephew or godchild) by that very same name and plans on bringing home the graft after the shoot.

Carry on.


Blogger Daddy D said...

Though I've never though of my little girls name as "odd" "extremely unique", it is hard to find things "pre-personalized"....so we're always have to pay extra to have her name put on items....

- Jon
- Daddy Detective
- www.daddydetective.com

2/24/06, 10:22 AM  
Anonymous rhonda said...

Hey, Iphigenia was almost what I named my daughter. LOL! But instead its Madylin. She gets so mad at me because she can never find anything (with that crazy spelling of her name) on it. Bad mommy. Just. Bad.

2/24/06, 10:53 AM  
Anonymous reluctant housewife said...

All I have to say is that, back when it was my job to do so, I did not choose the lipstick colors selection for half of the Americas based on what looked good on me.

Oh no. That would be wrong.

2/24/06, 10:59 AM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

I've never, ever found anything with my name on it spelled the way I spell it - that is, the way my parents chose to spell it. And I SWEAR TO GOD I am a happy, well-adjust person, thank you very fucking much. No, really, I am, I really really am .... just as happy as, say, the Menendez brothers ...

2/24/06, 11:17 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

hehe that was a fun post! Our daughter has a standard name so I do not think we will have too much trouble. I however NEVER had anything personalized!

2/24/06, 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I am assuming it's the same deal if they have a kind of furniture with your child's name? (e.g., Olivia dresser?)

2/24/06, 1:40 PM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

True, but can't you just imagine for one second that your little one is the star in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog? I never used to find things with my name, not spelled the same anyway, so if my daughter's name ~ which is not all that usual ~ shows up in a hip catalog, I'm going to pretend it's just for her. Did I just say hip???

2/24/06, 3:44 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

The glory of unique names in the age of the Internet is that it's so easy to get things personalized. The only time you might feel the pinch is when visiting those tourist trap shops and your kid decides she NEEDS a tiny license plate with her name on it. My daughter's gonna learn pretty quick that life's not always about instant gratification. Who better to teach her than me? I still wonder how my life would have turned out if, as a child, I had the opportunity to pedal my Huffy all over town, "Binky" license plate flapping in the breeze.

2/24/06, 3:54 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Like all of you, dear readers, my daughter is not named Jane or Anne and we will not be buying any sort of preprinted key chains at Universal Studios. I love Binky's idea that it's teaching delayed gratification. That's what we were going for all along.

And RW: are you the reason I still have some old, unused tubes of coral Revlon at the bottom of my linen closet? I'm sending the whole lot of them to you. I have your IP.

2/24/06, 8:27 PM  
Anonymous reluctant housewife said...

Busted. Well, not quite, but close enough. Please don't hurt me.


2/24/06, 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

No pre-printed chains here either, but I can offer our leftovers to Ben Stiller's new son (he has our daughter's name - though spelled differently). THEIVES I TELL YOU!

2/24/06, 11:28 PM  
Blogger jess said...

the problem with unique names or unique spellings of common names is that it dooms the kid to spell their name one gazillion times in their lives.

i was a journalist before the sweetest boy came and i met so many mackyenzies and madiesons, and so ons and i just felt bad for them.

not that i haven't spelled my son's name a bunch by now.

i guess we can boil parents down to those who name their kids some familiar name that they grew up with and those who go to extremes not to.

2/25/06, 11:06 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

So true Jess! And yet even Nate (N-A-T-E) has to spell his name a gazillion times for people. While I'm not a fan of the eunicque spellings, it seems that a good 50% of the problem could be resolved if people weren't just so damn stupid.

2/25/06, 11:38 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Coming from a woman who never found anything with her name on it at those damn two-bit traveling carnivals (misspelled or otherwise - and, no, I'm not bitter) I don't mind paying to personalize thing for my daughter. Not that she has to worry, we went fairly traditional with her name. I guess her room with be filled with personalized license plates and picture frames. Fantastic!

2/25/06, 8:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

That makes sense. Lucky kids who are related to the PB photoshoot people....

2/27/06, 4:25 PM  
Blogger IzzyMom said...

"You know how you get the Pottery Barn Kids catalog like eighteen, nineteen times a month? "

This cracked me up. I was just commenting to someone else that Pottery Barn is stalking me by way of catalog.

2/27/06, 6:57 PM  

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