Confessions of a 20-Something: I Browse for Baby Names Online

Most people who know me are aware that I am not the kind of person who likes to plan ahead. Many a three-day weekend has rolled around for which I have made no plans, I often find my fridge with nothing for dinner, and I never pick out my clothes for work the night before. There is one project I have gotten a head start on, though: naming the children I won’t have for at least several more years. I’m all over that.

I’ve been obsessed with celebrity baby names for several years now. One night back in college, before the invention of more effective time-wasting sites like tumblr, I came across a site called BabyNames.com where you can make an account and even save your favorite names to a list. As a college student, what better way to put off doing homework due tomorrow than picking out names for your future children?

One day in the computer lab, I spotted another girl browsing BabyNames.com. A kindred spirit! I approached her. “Oh, my gosh, you do that, too?” I said. She gave me a weird look and said that her older sister was having a baby. Well, then.

Here’s the challenge: I want to find a name that’s unique, but not too unique (I’m looking at you, Suri), feminine, but not evocative of a bimbo (show me a CEO named Britney) and popular but not passe. Adding to this challenge is my desire to have twins. I always wanted a twin of my own after growing up watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies. The two-for-one pregnancy is definitely the way to go, but naming twins presents an additional challenge: the names have to go together. And I haven’t made very much progress on names for boys yet.

My roommate at the time, however, had picked out only boy names because she wants to have a son first. We compared lists and I told her I liked the names Chloe and Reilly for my twin daughters. “You totally stole that from an Olsens movie,” she said. Darn! If a non-Olsen fan recognized the pairing, most people probably would, so it was back to square one.

I’ve been slacking in my baby name research lately, but I do go back to my list every now and then and update it. I haven’t gone all Charlotte York with a “dream box” and the name Shayla reserved, especially because I don’t believe you can “steal” baby names. The woman who gives birth first gets to use the name and that’s that.

But as with any important life event, a little preparation goes a long way. I don’t understand people who give birth to a baby and then, three days later, still haven’t thought of a name. In this one aspect of my life, I’m going to be prepared.

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