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