A Darla By Any Other Name…

Seriously? All I get is this stupid snake and Darla for a name?
Seriously? All I get is this stupid snake and Darla for a name?

My mother didn’t have many options in the recovery room the day I was born. I had just made a grand entrance into this world on a bright afternoon in early September, a few short days away from the actual Labor Day. I had arrived smack dab in the middle of lunch hour. I was hungry.

My labor and delivery was short-n-sweet because by then Mom was an ol’ pro at this birthin’ thing: I was her sixth baby– four of my brothers before me and one sister who had sadly passed away of a heart defect at three days old.

I weighed a mere five pounds and some change, my mom jotting down in my baby book I was about the size of a loaf of bread, with blue eyes and yellow hair.

But what to name her? This Wonder Bread-sized yellow-haired jewel?

Her firstborn was David, a good solid Biblical name. Then came Daniel. Followed by Dale, Darlene and Darrin.

You see a pattern yet?

Me neither. Except that my mom was clearly losing her mind.

She looked down at me, a tiny wrinkly ball of chubby chins and marble blue eyes and thought I looked like a Daisy. Definitely Daisy. Or Darcy. Maybe Dana? Because by then she had to keep the DA name thing alive or I’d be cursed as an outcast forever.

Happy in spite of the Alfalfa curse.
Please, Mom! Name me something crazy like Stephanie! I’m begging you!

She briefly considered Danielle, but with an older brother already named Daniel, she would have had a helluva time yelling the correct name at us whenever she was mad. As it was, steam would pour out her ears when she had to rattle off our names until she hit on the correct perpetrator: “You are in big trouble, Dav-Dan…er…Dale-Dar…oh, whatever the hell your name is! You are gonna get it!”

And so Darla was chosen, without so much as an afterthought.

Not Dana. Not even the other more obvious and super-cool option: Darka.

Darla. As in the Little Rascals. As in everyone I would ever meet for the rest of my days yelling at me, “Hey, Darla! Where’s Alfalfa?” then laughing uproariously.

Shut. Up.
Shut. Up.

Finally fed-up by the age of thirteen, I demanded everyone start referring to me as Denise. I even went so far as to write Love, Denise at the end of all the notes I passed in class — complete with a little pink heart as the dot for the I.

So. My name is Denise and I wear velour shirts and play with Barbies. Deal with it.
What. So my name is Denise and I wear velour shirts and play with Barbies. Deal with it.

No one fell for it.

And so today, despite all my efforts, I’m still Darla.

But please, call me Darka or Denise and I’ll love you forever.

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Do you like your name? How did it come to be? What name would you rather have? If you’re not too attached to your name, can I have it? We’ll switch! It’ll be totally awesome! Unless your name is Hank. Or Darla.

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This post was written for a WordPress Daily Prompt: Say Your Name

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137 thoughts on “A Darla By Any Other Name…

  1. Just think, if you had been born in the South, you’re name could have been Darla Sue or Darla Jean. Personally, I am rather fond of Darla Frank. But I am an idiot, so what do I know?

    1. Oh, well I hate to tell you this but, my middle name is:

      Jo.

      Haha! Yes. I’m Darla Jo. I’m being serious. So I also got the Petticoat Junction jokes thrown at me growing up. I was going to talk about my middle name horrors but this prompt was only for the first name.

      My last name? (my maiden name) Even more ridiculous and THAT was made fun of as well. So my entire name is memorable. No one in the universe has it, that’s for sure.

  2. Hi Darka, Darla is nice though, it could have been worse – Diaper even 🙂

    I already have a new name – Joe, since everyone here calls me that now so my real name is already fading away. My real name, Jon sill has the same amount of syllables though which I like. It;s odd for a Brit though, we’d usually spell it John, my dad thought since you don’t pronounce the H it isn’t needed. It’s why we never received middle names as well as he said you only get called one thing. He has a point, though he missed out on naming me Jon Boy because of his naming beliefs.

    1. Oh, how I wish I could have been named Jon Boy.! Well, I love the name John/Jon, however you spell it. It’s a good solid name. And you should read my comment above, Joe. Because my middle name is Jo. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

    2. My mother felt the same way.
      Why have the “e” on the end of Jacqueline when you don’t pronounce it? So my name is Jacquelin but everyone adds the “e” anyway. I’m kind of tempted to myself.

  3. I like Darla better than Denise or Daisy, Darla! But I’ll address my pen pal notes to you however you want.

    I was going to be Veronica, which is my maternal grandmother’s middle name. But my parents decided to go all biblical and named me Rachel instead. I’ve always liked my name, but hated my middle name, which is Nora. When everyone had normal middle names like Ann, Leigh and Leah, I was embarrassed by Nora. Now I love it, because it was my paternal grandmother’s middle name (looks like my grandmother on my mother’s side got a raw deal here. No namesake).

  4. Deep Dark Secret: My given name is “Cecil”. I was named after my Dad. In the late 70s I became a Radio DJ and went by the name “Toby Dillon”. Since those days, almost everybody (even my Mom) calls me “Toby”. I guess the name stuck. 🙂

    1. So no one ever called you Cecil? My younger brother is like that, his given name was Daryl Christopher but he somehow went by Chris his entire life, not one person has ever called him Daryl.

  5. Darly-Pants!!! How could I call you anything but DP?! I didn’t realize all the siblings had ‘D-a’ names. I would love, love, LOVE for you to ask your mom about that decision now, and record the conversation for your blog. Pretty please, Darka?

    I used to HATE my name. I thought the ‘Juh’ sound was so ugly. Sometime in my late teens/early 20s I started to embrace it. Maybe because by then my friends were calling me Jules. Who doesn’t like a Jules? (I’m probably not allowed to say that, am I? Luckily I’m so likable you’ll overlook the self-congratulatory overtone.)

    1. And JD, I forgot to even mention my youngest brother, Daryl. Yes, we call him Chris but it’s officially Daryl. (reminds me of Newhart “This is my brother Darrel and this is my other brother Darrel”.

      And how could you ever hate YOUR name?? By the way, Julia recently informed me to never ever call her JuJu under any circumstances because it “embarrasses” her. She wants me to call her Jules. No lie. I have to say I love it.

  6. Darka, here’s a real life moment, my name is Sharlea. Imagine learning to spell that in grade school. Imagine no one ever pronouncing it correctly. Psshaah, you just tried it. Go ahead, keep trying. It doesn’t matter, you’ll forget it after reading the next comment. And, bonus, my middle name is Ginger. Freakin’ awesome, right?? Not. My wordpress name of ‘Fresh Ginger’ is my sarcastic way of still hating what my parents named me. There’s a whole story behind the Sharlea thing that I won’t bother boring you with … I’ll take Darla any day. Easy to say, easy to spell. All good. But, I’ll call you Darka. Can’t wait to hear how you pronounce my name. I make a game out of the variations that people say. Ya, I’m mocking them but oh well. 🙂

    1. Oh, no I’d never forget Sharlea. So is it pronounced “Shar-lee” or “Shar-le-a”? Believe it or not, people have a hard time pronouncing my name! Yes! Darla. How else can you pronounce it? People call me Dana, Darlene…..and I didn’t tell you guys my middle name and my maiden name. Even worse.

      1. Shar-Lee-Uh. Sharon, Lezah and Paula all smooshed together, Paula gets credit for the Uh. Paula hates that. But, she’s kind of a bitch so I never forget to add that part of the story. 🙂

  7. Hey I like Darla way better than Darka! But anyway, my name is Marisa. Hate to leave this happy note to spoil your post (I know how obnoxious happy comments can be, such as, “I have a bad hair day.” “Oh well mine looks fabulous.”), but since you asked I have always considered my name a gift. I always thought the name was the perfect mix of unique and pretty (not crazy, you know?). I was the only Marisa I knew of for many years of my life. Maybe two decades. Then they started popping up everywhere, and I just want to punch them. Except for the baby that was named Marissa by a good friend of mine. Not her. That was an honor. But the rest, the ones that have nothing to do with me or my friends. It’s so hip to name your baby Marisa or Marissa now, and it’s MY name. lol!

    1. I laughed at the “I just want to punch them” Except the baby. Good call.

      I love Marisa. It IS beautiful. People ask me if I ever grew to like Darla and I have to say now that I’m almost 43 years old, no. No, I don’t like it still.

  8. Darka is too close to Dorka. You would not have wanted that in school! I love the name Darla, but I also loved Darla of Little Rascals fame. She was adorable. And so are you! Now I’m jealous you had a horse to play with when you were a kid.

    1. Ah, Dorka! Good ol’ Dorka! That was my name in high school. Thanks for bringing those painful memories up, Maddie. But also thanks for saying I’m adorable, it makes up for everything. teehee

  9. Darka? Darka? As if a lifetime of being called DORK-A would have been preferable to the Alfalfa jokes? You don’t know how good you got it, Miss Darliciousness.

    I went through the same period in junior high when I announced my name was Meg, and I would answer to nothing else. With 8 brothers and sisters, I’m sure you can guess how THAT went over. Just like Denise. Sigh.

      1. My daughter Gwen is home for a while and she MADE me watch a Full House marathon last night. Every time Kimmy Gibbler came on I hollered “Darla!” I was giggling and snorting but, even after I ‘splained why that was funny, she didn’t laugh. Kids today – no sense of humor.

      2. Please, Peg, just call me Gibbler from now on.

        Oh that is the worst, when someone forces you to watch 80s television. Just the other day I was forced to watch a marathon of Growing Pains (coindentally, DJ’s the sister of Mike Seaver in real life)

  10. Dear Darka. Darla is great. I don’t know any Darlas.
    My name is Joel Marckx. I hated the name Joel until I was in my 20s. It was different. It was weird. Other kids called me Jewel or Jolie (still call me that last one).
    My dad is Hilary Marckx, Jr, and I am so glad I did not become Hilary Marckx III. he wanted to call me Mark, but my mom decided that sounded like a dog with a hair lip.
    So I guess the only other possibility was Joel. I like it now, but you can borrow it for a while, if you like.

  11. This post is precious! I have to be really careful when I talk about names because I love them. I love languages of origin, meanings, and all that good stuff, but it’s enough to scare the hell out of any guy I’m with at the time. I’m not planning a future, just admiring some names. Mine is Claire Elizabeth because my mom liked the way she wrote it in cursive. I was going to be named Blythe and I rather like it but I don’t think I would have if it had been the one she chose. My mom had a really awesome name too: Scarlett. It’s very southern, but what do you expect from small-town West Tennessee? Some I like are Emileigh JoAnne, Isaac Chandler, Gloria Dixon, and William Johnston, after my late brother. I hope my kids don’t hate me for it some day!

    1. Wow, see Scarlet, Claire, Elizabeth, Blythe….all very lovely and classic. I would love any of those names. I’m big on classic names (It’s no wonder with a name like Darla) or names that have been handed down from generation to generation Both my kids have common, solid names. I have to admit that I do like the idea that my name is unique and I’ve only met one other Darla in my entire life, she was my waitress and she told me she loved her name.

      1. I don’t hate my name but I feel like I don’t look like a Claire. Plus my customers have a hard time pronouncing it. It comes out as “Clairer” or “Clara” but I answer to either. I’m glad it isn’t common and I think it’s a pretty name, I just don’t think it suits me. I think I could have been a better Blythe. I am glad, however, that my sister was named Rachel instead of the intended Greer.

        1. People can’t pronounce Darla either and it boggles my mind. You’d think Claire would be obvious. I suppose my name suits me in that it’s odd and unique. I’ve grown to accept it as my name and not Denise. (sigh)

  12. You poor thing with the Alfalfa reference! I once asked my mother why she gave me the most popular name that you could possibly name a girl baby, the year I was born. Her answer: I thought it was unique! Yeah, sure. Her judgement always sucked. There were 5 of us Susans in 8th grade math class (of about 28 kids).

    1. Ha! Yes, Susan was the name of my best friend growing up. And the girl who sat behind me in every single class throughout school. Along with Jennifer, that was hugely popular name in the 70s/80s. Not one single Darla, go figure. My mom CLAIMS Darla was ‘popular’ back then.

  13. Hey Darka,
    I don’t know any other Darla’s, which I think is great… I hate names that are SOOO overused. Besides, it’s pretty. Darka on the other hand, well…it’s different, that’s for sure. 🙂

  14. I feel your pain. I do. My entire family has J names. Jerry and Joy, my parents, and then James, Jina, Justin and me – Jessica. But you know who named me? Not my parents. They were too tired at that point to care (oops baby). And so, the waitresses at my parents’ restaurant are responsible for naming me. Cue the music…

    *Can you feel the love tonight?*

    No. No I cannot. I feel the apathy, and it smells like stale cheese.

    1. haha! Hallelujah! A person with similar name horrors! But Jess/Jessica is a good name. Infinitely better than Darla. The J name thing reminds me of The Duggars: Johanna, Johannason, Jonah, Jake, Jakers, Jacob, Jacoby, Jacobson….

  15. My name is Lorri – my mom swears she named me after a character in a soap opera. I learned in grade school that my pop had once been engaged to the mother of the Lorri who is 6 months older than me who lived across the street, so I am not buying the soap opera story. It’s an OK name – but there are just too many Lori, Laura, Lauren, Laurie, Lorrie, and Lorris born in the early 60’s. There were 12 in my graduating class so I was often handed nicknames like Rebel, Elsie, Moose, Lorriannabanana – anyway, it would have been nice to just be Lorri and to be the only one in the room. I like Darla – I have a cousin named Darla – solid name, unique without being weird. I’d give it an 8.

    1. I knew a couple Loris, Lauries, Lauras. My one true wish was to be Laura Ingalls and have my dad call me Half-Pint but it never came true. At least you had some cool nicknames like Rebel. My nicknames were all just terrible in high school. Later on I was known as The Darly-Lama due to my incessant need to give people lame advice. I kinda liked that name.

  16. You are Darla Jo? Are you SERIOUS? Wow! I’ve always hated my name. No one knows how to spell it. No one knows where to put the accent mark. And then of course there’s that song “Just walk away Renée” which everyone felt the need to sing to me all the time. Oy.

    Darla Jo is sounding better and better.

    1. I could see where the accent mark mistakes would drive you bonkers. But you hate your name? All of them? You have so many names and all of them are much better than mine, Renee. I once went as Darla J. instead of Darla Jo, kinda like Alex P. Keaton or Michael J. Fox but I could never pull it off.

  17. At least she didn’t call you Debbi. That level of disgustingly cute would just be too much. 😉
    My wife’s mom named all the kids starting with “T”. Tamy always says she could tell when her mom was REALLY mad, because she’d get so frustrated she’d run down the entire list in fast forward! Considering there were six kids with 2 syllable names, that’s pretty dang impressive! 😀

    1. Yes, my mom’s blood vessels would burst just trying to run down the frickin list! And I also have a younger brother named Daryl. So six D’s. but I have no sympathy, she did it to herself. She named each one of us.

  18. Darla, I like Darla more than Darka or Denise. I feel it goes with your personality really well.
    Sometimes I wonder, why most of us feel our parents have not done a great job while assigning names to us. 🙂 In our part of world, people give a lot of importance to the meaning of names while giving it to their children. My own name means “a person who beats all his enemy” and it comes from one of the oldest language i.e. “Sanskrit”. And let me tell you, sometimes I feel I should have a better name. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Arindam, it does go with my personality, I think you’re right about that. And your name fits you perfectly too. Clearly, they gave you the name for a reason. While my name just happened to start with a D so my mom said, “Eh, what the hell.”

  19. OMG I had that Barbie Horse! Also the cowgirl Barbie with the winking eye only my doll’s eye got stuck in the down position so she looked like she had some eye disease. My real name is one of the most common names in my birth year. Freaking EVERYBODY had that name. I hated having to have an initial after my name. And now I’ve even got it at work cause another one just HAD to come but I refuse to put an initial after my name. I was first, damn it.

    1. Alice the First, that sweet horse was named Dallas. I also had Midnight, the black horse. I kept those horses for years and years until I gave them to my niece like an idiot (this was before I ever knew I’d have my own daughter). Oh, how I wish I had kept them along with my Barbie townhouse!

      1. I had the Barbie Townhouse too! And YES it was named Dallas, I remember that. And that cowgirl Barbie had realllly 80s blue eyeshadow. I wrecked most of my Barbies. There were a few left in critical condition, but my daughters have been finishing them off. When I try to throw them away, they complain that the dolls are amputees and I am prejudiced. No, seriously.

      2. I just had a huge flashback! About the winking Barbie. I had her too! You’d push the button on her back and she’d wink. I”d be like, “Wink at Ken! Wink at Ken!” God, she was such a floosy.

        My daughter just had the brilliant idea last week to take all of her naked Barbies and scatter them all over our front lawn in the freshly mowed grass. The neighbors must love us.

  20. Dear Stephanie, With so many kids, it probably saved your mother a lot of brain power to only have to come up with the last few letters. She could just say “Da” and you all would come running.
    I like that she described you as about the size of a loaf of bread. It sets the tone forever. Bread is good. 🙂
    Signed, Isabella.

    1. I think you’re onto something, Isabella. My mom could just yell “Hey, cut it out Da–!” and we’d all snap to attention.

      As for when I was a baby, she also claims I was “smaller than a breadbox” too. Everything in the 70s had to do with bread. It was a simpler time.

  21. I used to wish I had a name like Margaret or Elizabeth so that I could work my way through all the associated nicknames throughout the different stages of my life. But I’m okay with Laura.

    I grew up hating my middle name. At some point when I was a young adult, I needed my birth certificate, but my parents couldn’t find it. When I sent away for a registered copy, I discovered there was no middle name on it! I was free! But by that time I’d finally gotten used to it, so I decided to keep it.

    1. That is a classic story–no middle name on your birth certificate after all? I must go dig up mine right now…maybe I have my entire name wrong all this time?? (now I’m afraid of what I might find)

  22. I hated my name Vanessa when I was a kid, and sometimes I used to pretend my name was Jane which was my middle name, I didn’t know anyone else called Vanessa, but Jane seemed more normal. It’s not actually hyphenated, the only reason I did that (if you’re interested!) is because I do a bit of acting and there is another actress out there called Vanessa Chapman, so I hyphenated my middle name in to do something a bit different, and then I use that for my writing things too. The thing is though, sometimes on blogs people call me Vanessa-Jane as if that’s my whole first name, I mean I get why they think that but it always makes me laugh because I wonder if they think I go around expecting everyone to call me Vanessa-Jane! Ha! I’m rambling now. Can I just call you D?

    1. First of all, I love the name Vanessa! So classic and pretty. Jane is a name I considered using for my daughter’s middle name because my mother’s middle name is Janet. (I decided to name my daughter Reese instead after my late father).

      I also love your story about the hyphen and the other actress. So people must call you that in real life sometimes? I could have gone with a hyphen, Darla-Jo. People did call me DJ or Deege for years and I kinda liked it.

      But please call me D! Lots of people call me that now and that’s what I sign all my emails with because I’m much too lazy to type out my entire name.

      1. Yes, when I’ve been to auditions, my name is sometimes called out as ‘Vanessa-Jane’, but I guess I expect it there, on blogs I think “Why are they calling me that?…oh, right.” I’m the same as you with D, I sign emails off as V and friends often call me that anyway too, I like it.

  23. With a name like Darla Jo, how did you not become a professional bowler? You totally have the name for it.

    But that stuffed animal snake does look pretty killer, so I suppose it was all worth it to get your baby mitts on him.

    1. Oh god, I know! I could have been right up there with the Big Lebowski. The Little DJ.

      I think that photo of me with the snake is the funniest photo of me. The look on my face says it all.

  24. I quite like my name. My mum told me that when she was little she always wanted a baby girl with blonde curly hair called Joanne Marie. Then I was born! (without the curly hair). I have been told what my name would have been if I were a boy though and all I can say is, I am glad I do not have a penis. My mum wanted to call me Column. Yep. Column. Apparently it’s an Irish name. I personally am glad I dodged that bullet!

  25. I hated my middle name, so changed it (to my friends) to something I liked better. Then I overheard someone saying to another (referring to my real middle name) that the name evoked visions of “strong” and “bitchy,” so I quickly reclaimed it as my own again. It wasn’t until later in life that I even appreciated I was named for my grandmother — strong and bitchy.

    I like Darla. Can’t imagine you with another name, thoug I love whe Peg makes up new ways to spell it.

    PS — I so wronged my youngest daughter, also named for a grandmother. Virginia Mae got shortened to Ginny Mae — just in time for the burst of the housing bubble, and Freddy, and Fannie, and Ginny…

    1. Strong and bitchy? You must tell me what this name is now! My grandmother was super strong and bitchy and her name was Thelma. Was your middle name Thelma? (reminds me of Thelma and Louise)

  26. OneHotMess says:

    I am Ann…three letters, two of which are the same. It was the late 1950’s, so I could have been Cathy, or Debbie, and I am quite grateful that I am not. I was named after two aunts, Zoe Ann and Maurine. I’ve always thought my name quite dull and I tried Annie for awhile, but I am not the Annie type. It’s a sensible name—boring. I would have loved an “e” on the end to jazz things up a bit. Ah, well..;-) Most everyone calls me Mom anyway. I even call myself Mommy. I hear Ann a few times a year. LOL

  27. Darlene and Darla. Huh.
    My name was supposedly quite popular the year I was born. I have never met anyone else born that year who has my name. At least, not exactly. There are variations. My sisters all have very unusual names, but apparently mine was meant to be common. I didn’t like it when I was a kid and a teenager, but I do now.
    Very hard to talk about my name when I won’t tell anyone my name. Ha.

    1. My mother wanted to name me, but I guess father had his own way. She died when I was five. Later on I tried my best to have my name changed. Once I got my high school certificate, I resigned myself to it.

  28. You were quite the adorable baby, Darka! My mom gave birth to me after stuffing herself with tacos and almost gave me a mexican name but luckily changed her mind. I’m a September 2nd baby, when in Sept were you born? 🙂

  29. In second grade I changed my name to Clarence because the lion on Daktari was my favorite & I thought his name was far better than ‘Daniel’ (as I insisted I be called starting in Kindergarten). That lasted most of the school year, then I became Schemp for a while, before finally switching to ‘Dan’ in 3rd grade…

  30. Denise, if this is a ploy to make me give up my real name, it won’t work 🙂
    For some reason, I like the name Darla more than Darka – it may have sounded awesome for a teenager, but still having that name after school could be too weird. “So, please tell me where you see yourself in five years, and how would you go about improving our company’s bottom line… umm,.. Darka?”.

    1. No name secrets revealed from Mr. X? Dammit!

      Yeah, I googled Darka and it’s an actual name apparently popular in Russia. It sounded so mysterious and uh….dark when I was a teen though.

      1. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but Darka is not a popular name in Russia. I know that, because (I guess I have to reveal some secrets) I’m originally from Russia myself. 🙂 But it could be more popular in other Slavic countries.

      2. Oh, really? you’re from Russia! Hmm…seems my secret plot to get you to reveal your name is finally starting to work. You’re cracking, I can feel it, Mr. X.

        P.S. mwa ha haaaa! MWA HA HAAAAA!! [laughing so hard I start to choke… taking a swig from my coffee mug, gasping… laughing even more maliciously]

  31. Hi Darka, I hated my name as well. And I changed it over the summer holidays. My class mates were cool about it, they just went along. It took my parents a few years, but finally now everyone calls me Pleun. Yay 😉 I still can’t say my original name without retching, let alone write it haha. So I won’t, just call me Pleun.

    1. You’ve got it, Pleun. I hear you on wanting to retch, I cringe whenever I see my name. Ugh. Just never grew on me and never will. But the only option I had was my middle name and that’s Jo so…..no.

  32. I never liked Sandy–too fluffy, too Gidget-like. And Sandra…gawd… I made the other Sandy in my grade school class be Sandra, because–yes–I was a megalomaniac in 4th grade. I wanted something gutsy, something with a smoker’s cough, like Rachel or Tess. So now I go by Sandy Sue just to take it to the other extreme. Why the hell not?

  33. What a hilarious post, Darka.

    I hated “Elyse” as a kid. Nobody could pronounce it, nobody could spell it. Having a substitute was murder as they butchered both first name and last. And worst of all, I couldn’t get a license plate with my name on it for my bike. I’m choking up even now as I recall the pain of being the only kid in the neighborhood whose name was, apparently, “Connecticut.”

    But as an adult I love it. Until someone butchers it. Then I hate them, not the name.

    As I told you, Darla, you will not be alone. My niece is getting a service dog in about two weeks — a lab named Darla. You will no longer be alone, and maybe even someone else will come running when someone calls out “Darla!”

    (Oh, and your mother was nuts. It’s hard enough going through all the children in the family to get to the fifth one, but naming them all the same is asking for trouble.

    1. Oh, my god! I forgot about the bike license plate horrors! Yes, many a time I would stand there in the store, spinning that stupid carousel of license plates around and around, tears spilling down my cheeks as I wailed, “WHY? Why no Darla?? WHYYYYYY?????” All my brothers had their names on everything….mugs, pencils, pens…it just wasn’t fair.

      And I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that some poor doggie will have my name. Although once a friend of mine named one of her sheep Darla. True story.

      1. Wasn’t it traumatic? Now you can get custom made ones, but not when we were kids. Born too soon, we were, Darla. Born too soon.

        This Darla will be a service dog — my niece has Type I Diabetes. So I’m sure she will be a wonderful bitch who will live up to your name. (How could I resist?)

          1. That’s why I love you too. Because you are such a wonderful bitch. Generally more wonderful than bitchy, but then I don’t live with you!

          2. True. Jim would probably say I’m bitchy for sure. I feel for him, but ya know what? too f–ing bad, buddy ’cause I’m wonderful too. (god, I think this perimenopause bullshit is making me cranky)

  34. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I honestly hate my name, but, I, too had to fall in line with the rest of the “J” names in my family. Once, in high school, I changed the spelling to “Jeane.” I should have stuck with that. Of course, it still wouldn’t have prevented the damn, incessant rhyming that has occurred through the years.

    I love the name, “Darla.” Love it. Can we switch?

    1. I would switch with you in a heartbeat! I forgot about the rhyming stuff back in school. Fortunately, that was the only thing good about my name, nothing rhymes with it. Although my older brother tried “Dahlah…you smell like a skunk flowah…you need to go to the beauty pahlah….Dahlah….”

      1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

        Your older brother is imaginative, but lame. Yeah, I’d switch with you! People who have names with two syllables or more are less likely to run across rhymers.

  35. I love my name! Think of all the cool Steve’s that are out there. My concern? I did an informal poll with my kids the other day and they don’t know ANY OTHER KIDS named Steve. Now I’m worried I’m becoming extinct!

  36. I was supposed to be Scott. Right up until I came out a girl. So, because I was a little angel, I got to be Angela. And it has never fit. I feel weird every time I say it or someone says it at me. Even Angi is only slightly better. I wish they had stuck with Scott; I could have rocked the girl named Scott thing.

    Oddly, The Boy has an unusually high number of Scotts in his life. Clearly my real name was psychically imprinted on me and we were drawn together from birth.

      1. I don’t dislike the name at all, it just isn’t me. There were actually six Angies of various spellings in my group in junior high. That’s why I’m Angi with no e, because of all the note writing…

  37. How about Danise. That would keep the tradition going, Darla. I do understand that … Our family had the “J” thing going on. I was the first born … Judy. My brother was Joseph. The next child would have been … James.

    I’d never heard of Darla and I recall seeing “The Little Rascals.” BTW, Happy Birthday. Hope it was a blast.

    1. I made sure to not do the same letters for my own kids. But I only had the two so it wouldn’t have been as confusing as it clearly was for my own mother. I gave my son the middle name James because that’s his dad’s and grandfather’s name (and I also happen to love the name)

  38. What about Darla, Queen of the Universe? That’s got a nice ring to it.
    Velour shirts – yeah I wore ’em too – although not in robin’s egg blue….

  39. I like the name Darla. But I can see how you must have gotten inundated with Little Rascals teases. Tough luck there, Darka. I’m not a huge fan of my own name either. I mean, it’s fine, but whatever. I find it uninteresting. I wanted a name that ended in an a. To me, Darla is a glamorous name. A luscious vixen, femme fatale sort of name. Mine is not glam. It doesn’t end in an a, and it’s sort of eh. I would much rather have had a really wicked name like Gwendolyn.

    1. A luscious vixen? A femme fatale? God, how I love you, Weebs.

      I really like your name and you may not know this, but my daughter has your name…but with an A at the end! I’ve always known I would name my daughter this name since I wrote it down in my middle school diary.

  40. My parents couldn’t agree on a name. My mother wanted to name me Heather (very popular in the 50’s) and my father wanted to name me Crystal after Crystal Olive who had just swum the English Channel. When I was born and my mother was still in the hospital with me he trotted on down to the newspaper office to make my birth announcement, with, you guessed it, my name being Crystal. 🙂

    When I was growing up I didn’t like my name because I was the only Crystal in both my elementary and high schools but as I grew older I really appreciated that I had an unusual name. It’s not so unusual now, but it sure was when I was growing up. I was born in 1956.

    1. Oh, how I loved this story. Crystal after the woman who had swum the English Channel! I’m happy now you appreciate the unusual name you have, I have to admit I do appreciate I’m very unique with my name and the great thing is, no one ever forgets you.

  41. What about Mary? Pretty safe, mild, bland and inoffensive, you’d say? No way you can pretzel that into anything. What about Mez? Mezzles? Mezzalarina? Wanna swap?

  42. Darla says:

    I was named Darla in the early 1950’s. I was the only one in a high school of 2,000 students. When I met my husband, he had never heard my name before. You can forget name signs and key chains, they don’t exist. Part of the reason for my name is that my mother’s was from the South. People seem to like the name Darla below the Mason Dixon. I named my children common names and they haven’t complained. At this point in my life, I really like it. Two children were named after me. I have heard that the name Darla is associated with mean blondes, but I’m a nice brunette.

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