I have a pretty popular name. Well at least when they’re together.
Since I was young, I only hear one of two replies from people who ask for my name:
- Isn’t that a chocolate/candy?
- How about when you grow up?
(When the person is nosy, they ask both.) In which I would answer (without enthusiasm):
- Yes. From Nestle.
- It’ll stay the same.
My first name is Baby Ruth. Now you understand why. You’re probably asking the same thing on your mind right now. Or maybe more. Why Baby Ruth, why not Hershey? Why did her mom name her after a chocolate? Is that her favorite? Did she crave for that while she’s pregnant? What will happen when you grow up, will you change Baby to Lady and then Granny? Can I actually call you Baby?
Most of those questions spring up when the person becomes my friend. You know the times when you’re hanging around talking about anything under the sun and names were suddenly brought up, those types of conversations. My response varies depending on my mood: Baby Ruth seems fine to me than Hershey. Let’s not talk about it. I will not change my name (that’s expensive). I was not named after a chocolate. Whoa.
When I became curious I asked my mom why my name’s like that. She told me she got Ruth from the Bible. But it was too short, so she asked her friends what other name they could add up to that. They suggested Rona and Ruby. But nothing appealed to my mom, and those names are already taken by kids she knows. So when she got some time by herself she thought of putting Baby instead. Because it could be a nice name for a person. That is a girl. That is her daughter. And so she opted for Baby Ruth. It just so happened that there is a chocolate with the exact same name. But of course it was there long before I was born. (Just last night I asked my mom if she named me after Baby Ruth the chocolate. And she told me for the nth time that Ruth was from the Bible and Baby just sounds so good, especially when they’re together. End of story.) So basically, according to my mom, I was not named after a chocolate. Whoa.
But honestly, I like my name. Or perhaps I’ve grown to like it. I’m rather grateful that it was Baby and it was Ruth, or it will sound weird otherwise. But the burden comes with the first meeting. Okay, maybe burden is too big a word and we could use struggle, but no matter. Instead of talking about something else, my name becomes the conversation. It annoys me most of the time so I try to divert from the topic but they won’t let that happen unless they get what they want. You might think hey at least you’ve got something to talk about in the first meeting, it becomes less awkward. Yeah, right. That only happens once in a blue moon. If you liked the person enough!
Some of us have it worse. Popular names like Britney, Adam, Taylor, Facebook(!). What with getting clouded to the image of the celebrity or a brand or a product (in my case). I even got teased before when I was in grade school. The song Chocolate Choco Choco got really famous and some of my classmates sang that over and over in front. of. me. I cried once.
There are also a number of people who carry a lot more burden than us. Just because of a name. Those children or relatives of famous personalities, I think they have it worse (though I really don’t know). I just feel like they will always be compared to the bigger figure. And the last thing we all wanna hear is who has done it better, or who IS better.
High school came and one of my friends started calling me BR. And I’m grateful for that. Since then I’ve used that name to introduce myself. The only problem is it sounds intriguing. So even if everyone who knows me calls me BR, I couldn’t get away with the whole what’s-with-the-name thing. And until now, my friends make fun out of my name at times. Only now I make fun of theirs, too!
My surname is Estrada. The last name of a bygone actor slash former president of the Philippines slash current mayor of Manila. And you wouldn’t wanna hear about it!
Now let me ask this, what's with your name?
Daily Post’s Say Your Name.
P.S. This post was published last year on January when I was just starting my blog. Seeing the prompt made me happy for I can share the story behind my name again!