One thing we actually agreed on was that we didn't want names that were too "old fashioned." We weren't real hip on the idea of naming our kid something like Edith, Walter, Harlan, Myrtle, Prudence, or George. Again, not that there's anything wrong with these names. These are all fine names so don't fire off an angry e-mail to me over this point. It's just that these names, as great as they are, just weren't for us. So we needed to find some sort of middle ground in which we would agree to meet on this subject. Finally, after months of discussions and threats of lawsuits, we compromised and decided on our names. If we had a girl, she would be Abby. If we had a boy, he would be known as Ryan. We shook on it and made it an official deal.
But now I'm beginning to think we didn't make the right decision. A recent study shows that what you name your child can actually affect his chances of succeeding in life. The theory being, if your child's name is one of a strong nature (suggested names "Robert" or "Belinda"), he or she will be powerful and achieve at anything they set their minds to. Conversely, if you name your kid something wimpy-sounding like "Eugene" or "Stinky" or even "Stinky, II", your little pride and joy will be forced into a life of servitude, cleaning the diaper pail of the powerfully-named child. And oddly enough, if you named your child "Biff" or "Muffy", there is a 95 percent chance they will be the snobby "King and Queen of the Prom" in the next Porky's-esque teen romp film.
Perhaps we should have researched names given to proven successful people, and by "successful" I mean "rich." Because in our society, wealth translates into success, right? So if you look at it with that vain perspective, maybe we should have gone with Osama Crider? Or Kenneth Lay Crider? OJ Crider? On second thought, I think we'll stick with the name we chose and let our child decide his own fate. And rich or poor, he can define "success" on his own…
Michael Crider is the author of DADA–A Guy's Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth and the First Year of Fatherhood. His hobbies include scuba diving, kayaking, and playing with his son, Ryan.