Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh, Reeeeeeeeeeeaaaally??

When this child was born, I feared for what his father would name him. The deal from the beginning was that I wanted my son to have my dad's name for a middle name. Stanley had shown up in one of those baby name books under a funky category called "Boys' Names That Could Become the New Girls' Names." Well, that wouldn't be cool to be a teenage boy and suddenly have your name become the new popular name for baby girls, so Stanley had to be the middle name. The other part of the deal was that my husband got to pick the child's first name. Scared? Yes, I must admit that made me a little bit scared. Ricky had been happily calling this child Angus, as in Angus-what's-his-name from AC/DC, as soon as we knew he was a "he." Not John, Paul, George, or even Ringo, no, the super Beatles fan thought Angus was a cool name. He said he was kidding, but I could see the happy gleam in his eye when he caught an AC/DC video. Well, I had to counter "Angus" some way, so I started referring to the child I was carrying as "Elvis." Elvis Angus?? Oh, my, can you imagine?
In the end, my husband was bouncing along the hospital corridor as they wheeled me into surgery, saying, "I think it's going to be Vincent. Yeah, maybe Vincent. . .or James." What was he talking about? I'd never heard him mention Vincent as a possibility, and this was the man who never answered anyone when they asked about the "J" in Ricky J. Garren. Since I happen to like names that have been passed along in a family, though, I grasped hopefully at the notion of "James." Oh, no offense to anyone named Vincent, but I just didn't get it. So, that's how James Stanley finally arrived in this world with a decent name.
It wasn't until a couple months later that I realized he might share names with his father, his maternal grandfather, and even one of his mother's uncles, BUT he could arch one eyebrow skeptically and look a whole lot like yet another uncle. . .and that is how this face he's making in the picture has come to be known as James' Uncle Ralph eyebrow face. It's the ultimate in "oh, really??" expressions, greatly admired by me because, although I can be a sarcastic skeptic of huge proportions, I can not raise one eyebrow archly and send out the "oh, reeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaall??" smirk.
And this week has been one in need of an "oh, reeeeeeeeeeaaallllllly??", more than once, I might add. For instance, a piece of junk mail in the mailbox commanded me DO NOT BEND. Oh, really? And why not? Mostly, though, the "oh, really" bit has been a note to myself in response to the I-ought-to's. I ought to separate my paperwork every month so I don't have to dig through all of it at once when the beancounter decrees it is time. Oh, really? When have I ever, ever, ever been organized and stayed that way? I ought to do the housework first, then have the rest of the day to work without it hanging over my head. Oh, really? Am I really going to achieve anything by trying to start that routine on a snow day (when the kids will come along behind me and spill something immediately, and when I know how bad I am at the "domestic" part of domestic goddess)? I ought to do this, I ought to do that. Oh, really? Why not work with my foibles, work within the weird flow of disorganized creative chaos that is me?
That's it. I already know it works, albeit slowly from year to year. Instead of keeping all the oxygen receipts somewhere on the desk, why not narrow it down again this year? Why not keep all those particular yellow receipts in one box or drawer? Same for the housework stuff, too. Why not make it more of a habit to give the entire kitchen a spiffing up while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew, instead of just idly putting the dishes away? Yep, this working within the boundaries in order to slowly stretch them just might be the key.
Really :)


Maggie said...

Love the story of his name and that smirk is wonderful. Just glad you live far enough away that he won't be one of my sixth grader students in the future. Think I'd be getting that look all day long. Really!

angelinabeadalina said...

Maggie, sixth grade is a terrific age to teach. At least when I used to substitute, I loved 6th, 7th, and 8th. They have such a great take on the world, and it's a blast to watch them when they start realizing they can have their very own well-thought-out opinions about the world! As for this particular kiddo, we are lucky-- he usually only breaks out the "Uncle Ralph eyebrow" look when I ask him to do it, LOL

Deb said...

Ang - love the look. I have seen those lash laden blues eye's, raised eyebrow & a slightly different version of 'the look' used here by a certain lad of mine - I still get treated to it when I push the Mum boundaries too far.LOL!

Trouble is the twinkle in the eye always gives away the fact that it's not serious.

James is a great name - Michaela was going to be Alexander James if she was a boy....we had to wait until she was here to find out though, the little darling kept her gender a secret.

Getting organized huh? Tidy kitchens eat into torch time...... ;o)

angelinabeadalina said...

LOL, Deb! Between your "tidy kitchens" assessment and Mallory's well-timed email, my afternoon is taking a turn for the better :)

Alexander James would've been a fine name! I do like Michaela very much though, something about Michael names has always been pretty to my ear. Could be because I was supposed to be a Michael if I was a boy? My mom wanted to name me after twins she knew-- Michael Ray and Angela Faye.

P.S. You are much too cool of a Mum to warrant "the look", boundaries or not :)

Kim said...

I think he has a fine name, and he probably could have even gotten past the whole Stanley is now a girl name thing with those killer blue eyes! :)

Linda said...

We have just so much in common :) I'm speaking of the creative chaos and the domestic goddess (not) bit. Goodness. I could just imagine how things might look working side by side! LOL!!

Anywhooo, your writing is just beautiful, funny and just plain interesting. You could also have a second career as a writer. LOVE the photo of your son....since I've been going thru a, I'm getting old stage, all I see when I look at his picture is that skin!! Clear, smooth, rosey and unblemished. Aaaah, the good ole days!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!!

Sheila said...

being able to find humor in the chaos is one of my favorite things about your musings.

He is cute!