I have a question, and I'm not quite sure what it is. So maybe what I have is a discussion topic. The discussion topic is about whether your friends tend to have the same naming style as you or not---and how far off do they get.
And, backwards from there: if you met someone with a wildly different naming style than yours, would it feel like it Meant Something? That is, would you think to yourself, "Oh...her kids are named ____, ____, and ____?" and get a little sinking feeling because it seemed to indicate that the friendship might not work out?
My friend Mairzy and I have what I consider easily-friendship-compatible naming styles. The styles are different, yet we can both appreciate the other one's style---and we have areas of overlap. We are an "I like it for someone else's baby" friendship. We can discuss names recreationally, and we both tremendously enjoyed discussing name possibilities for the children who were born after we started being friends.
I have another friend who is more like Top 10 names for boys and girls, while I'm more like Top 50 for boys and Top 1000 for girls. If she were more interested in baby names, we'd be able to discuss them recreationally: I don't flinch from her choices and she doesn't flinch (much) from mine. Her choices have in fact given me a greater appreciation for Top 10 names.
I have another friend who has two children with names of my style, and one with a name that's quite different and of a style I dislike. I felt a little dip at the announcement of that third child's name---a feeling of "Maybe we don't know each other as well as I thought."
I was stressed when my friends who are also my brother and sister-in-law were expecting their first child. The subject felt fraught with meaning. I was intensely relieved when they picked something great. It wasn't the same style as mine, but it was in one of my Style I Admire categories rather than in one of my Style I Dislike categories.
If I meet someone at kindergarten drop-off/pick-up, and I ask the names of her children and she says names of a style I would never, ever consider because I dislike it so much, I admit I do think, "Huh. Maybe this isn't going to work out." But I'm always aware that my initial reaction might be completely unfounded, and I don't seriously ditch a potential friendship based on it; it's just one piece of information in the information-gathering stage of getting to know someone.
But it does catch my attention, just as many other not-necessarily-(but-maybe)-relevant-to-friendship details do: "Oh...they live in that absolutely enormous and beautifully-decorated house?" "Oh, she loved [movie I hated]?" "Oh, she dedicates two hours daily to housework?" "Oh, she doesn't know where the library is?" To me it's one of many indicators of compatibility: just as I'd make certain preliminary (not conclusive, but preliminary) assumptions about a family with a giant house and more luxury cars than adults, I'd make certain preliminary assumptions about a family with children named Apple, Pax, and Pilot.
How is it for you? Are you dying to know the names of a new acquaintance's children because it seems like Interesting and Important Information? Do the names add to the information you have about the person?
And how do the naming styles of your established friends compare with your own style?
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