Making shit up

You know how when you’re little you think all grown ups know what they’re doing and that one day you will too, and then you grow up and realize that actually no one has a clue what they’re doing and that we’re all just making shit up as we go along?

Yeah, me too.

The older I get, the less I feel like anyone is in charge. Or knows anything. Or has a plan. I’m all for making shit up. As a writer, I live for it. But I also feel like we should exercise just a wee bit of constraint, on the whole.

For example, when it comes to naming our children. You can’t just randomly open the dictionary, pick a word, change a letter, and call it a name. As a parent in Los Angeles, I think the battle to out-original each other has reached critical mass. (Is that the right term? I have no idea. What I mean to say is, it’s time to reign it in.)

Over the weekend I encountered the following “names”: a girl called Aberdeen (as in home of Nirvana), a boy called Dexter (as in HBO serial killer), and a child of unknown sex named Goldyn (as in Gate Bridge? — I’m guessing the spelling). And these are just the ones I can remember.

Let’s all take a deep breath and not forget that these children will grow up one day and (hopefully) fill out job applications, bank forms, and tax returns, and that when they have to explain for the five thousandth time that no, their parents aren’t sociopaths, they just really like that guy from Six Feet Under; or no, it’s not Abigail, it’s Aberdeen; or yes, it’s Goldyn, like the adjective but with a y — it could affect their ability to cope. Let’s not give them any more reasons to go postal.

Just a thought.

Sticks and stones may break my bones…
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