Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My first name, when I was growing up, was pretty unusual. I was the only one in my class, and I'm pretty sure the only one in my school, with my name. Fast-forward thirty years and my name is really, really common. It's... well, let's just pretend it's Emily. Okay?

So last week I was in Target, and because the management there is clearly out to get me they reorganized the entire store, deliberately hiding only the things I needed to buy. I trawled the entire toy section in hunt of Play-Doh and a puzzle. They were not. After twenty minutes, I gave up, rounded a corner and lo! where the shoes used to be, was a display of nothing but puzzles and Play-Doh! You think I'm joking, don't you. I'm not.

Anyway, it was a very disorienting experience, added to which that I had left a full, sleeping baby with MHH and ten minutes after driving off with Yehudis my cell phone rang and yup, she was awake. So I was distracted by that and looking for all kinds of things that I couldn't find in that ginormous store, and at one point I was turning circles around the household cleaners section in search of the red-and-blue Dobie pads that were always there before when out of nowhere someone I'd never seen before was looking right at me and saying my name over and over

"Emily! Emily! Emily!"

in a tone of... not annoyance quite but of heLLO, are you there?

I had no idea who she was. None. Didn't look Jewish. Clearly not frum if she was. Someone from work? Someone I talk to and email but never see? Friend of friend? Someone from college? From grad school? Uh...

I stared. No clue.

Then I realized that standing right in front of me was a little girl, somewhere between Barak and Iyyar in age. Emily. I burst out laughing and it was her mother's turn to stare at me.

"I'm also Emily. I thought you were talking to me and I could not figure out if I knew you!" I looked down at Emily #2 and said, "Did you know that your mommy picked the nicest, prettiest, most beautiful name in the whole wide world for you?" Emily #2 flushed and grinned and sidled up shyly to her mother.

It was cute. And it is a nice name. There are just an awful lot of us around right now. Mostly under aged ten!


Yasmin said...

I know what you mean. It's been like that for me since that Disney movie with the genie came out... Before that, you couldn't ever find any variant of my name on any mugs or yelled out across the store.

Charlotte said...

And don't get me started on the number of Charlottes being born these days.

Alisha said...

My cousin's name actually was Emily, but she changed it to Emilie because she likes it better -- and presumably because it's more unique. I imagine the change doesn't help so much when someone calls across a room, though...