The rude awakening
It was 7:30 this morning when my sister called and woke me up. She always calls me before 8:00 expecting me to be awake. I tell her to stop it and she always does it again; this morning is a perfect example of that.
There I was, deep in slumber, and the phone rang. My first thought was "Brooke's having the baby!" so I answered it, rather alertly for having just woken up, and Brooke feigned alarm: "Oh, did I wake you up?"
The script rarely varies in cases like this -- she asks if I was sleeping, I pretend that I don't mind that she woke me up, she offers to call back, I tell her she should just let me know why she called, she pretends she's not going to, and then she finally relents and tells me.
Araulmas. This is what she had to tell me this morning. Her baby's middle name should be Araulmas, she thinks. "It grows on you," I was informed.
"You've got to be joking," I said.
"No, think about it. Write it down. It really does grow on you."
I hung up. "She's on drugs," I told my pillow.
Araulmas is a combination of names/middle names in my family: Ar from Arthur, aul from Paul, mas from Thomas. other variations included Parthumas and Parmas. Apparently, the child is going to be a Greek deity.
I called back. "Just have his middle name be Thomas."
"I like Araulmas. Did you write it down? Write it down."
"What kinds of drugs did they give you for your blood pressure?"
She says they didn't give her drugs, but I remain skeptical. I told her I'll continue to come up with better alternatives until she finally relents and accepts one of them. In the meantime, I think we should all start praying for the poor kid.
The e-mails that followed
I sent this to my friend, Dale, and we had the following conversation over e-mail...
I am afraid your sister has succumbed to the crazy hours
of pregnancy. The name Araulmas does not grow on you no matter how many times you write it down. Like a kind of spider you've never seen before, it gradually loses a bit of its power to appall, yes, but that is not the same
thing as "growing on you."
Actually, the name gets worse, not better, when its derivation is explained. Just by itself, it can almost pass as an old Romanesque name, perhaps something the Schuldheisz'z plucked from their reading of Virgil or Ovid. But this goes straight down the toilet when we learn it is three English names cut and pasted together. Yuck. Please make it stop. Innocent children should not be burdened with hideous names like "Araulmas" or "Elwood." This person this child becomes will always have the legal opportunity to change his name to Araulmas (or Elwood) if he so desires.
I called my sister and used your e-mail as supporting evidence that she should give up this whole Araulmas thing. She continues to stand by it, but only in the sense that she knows she's lost the war, but she wants someone to admit that Araulmas is a good name. I'm not budging on that score.
The most compelling argument, so far, has been this: when the kid gets in trouble, she will have to shout, "Daniel Araulmas!" It's too much, and
really, it puts the blame back on her. How could you expect anybody with such a stupid name to behave?
Like a dorky wierdo, that's how. Any kid with Araulmas in his name is bound to spend most of his time with his finger up his nose and/or picking his underwear out of his butt. The best you could hope for is that young Araulmas would dedicate one hand to each task, but I wouldn't put any money
on it, not with a name like Araulmas. There's going to be nose-picking with the butt hand and butt-picking with the nose hand, mark my words. Please, make it stop.
It sounds like a forgotten holiday.
So then I was all like
Congratulations, you're the hit of the day. I read my sister your first e-mail and she had me forward it to her husband. This second e-mail made me laugh loudly, so my co-workers crowded in and i allowed them to read it. We've all agreed that anybody with Araulmas as a second name would, indeed, be a butt-picker.
While I am honored to have been the hit of the day, it means nothing if your sister has not changed her mind. I am prepared to light myself on fire in a public square to protest, if nothing else will do.
Happily, Brooke did give up on the idea of naming her child Daniel Araulmas, opting to name him Daniel Paul instead.