I was browsing the web today for some parenting tips because James, my angelic 3.5 year old, has been unbearably uncooperative for the last 2 days. I googled "parenting" and clicked on the most reliable-looking option: Parenting.com.
The homepage offered such a wide variety of insightful headlines that I kinda forgot why I was there. "11 Super-Cute Baby Names for Boys" caught my eye, because I like super-cute anything, and I also believe that expecting parents of baby boys are kind of fucked when it comes to finding an original-but-cool names for their future sons. As a self-proclaimed baby name expert, it was necessary for me to see what they came up with.
Everything was cool until I got to #10 on the "super-cute" list.
Really? That's what we're working with?
Imagine holding your freshly birthed 8-pounder for the first time and thinking, I will call you... Anthony.
Parenting.com went to great lengths to make this one work. With each name suggestion, they include an example of a current pop culture icon. Picture and bio included. For this gem, they chose to use Anthony Hopkins, NOT KIDDING, because that's a great selling point. The picture, in my opinion, would be really effective for new parents of elderly men. Check it out for yourself, and while you're there, notice some of the other famous Anthonys mentioned. My favorites are "Tony Danza" and "Anthony 'Tony' Soprano."
If I'm sounding too critical, then let's pump the brakes. I'm not saying Anthony is a bad name. I think it's an appropriate choice if it's a family name, or if you just happen to really like the way it sounds, or whatever. I take issue with Parenting.com, though, for creating this unimaginative "Top 11" list. Why couldn't they have omitted Anthony and called it a Top 10? I'm suspecting the person who compiled the list is pregnant and hoarding all of the good names for herself and her pregnant friends. Just a thought.
When I was pregnant with James, I would have looked at the Parenting.com website as some sort of authority on parenthood. Pregnant women are a susceptible breed, and picking out your son's name is a huge deal. I remember wondering, what if I pick a name that makes him a doofus? What if all the bad kids in his class have the same name? Is the name I like too ethnic for an Irish kid?
Moral of the story? Baby name lists are kinda cool to look at, but I think they're about as useful as yesterday's Pisces horoscope in my local newspaper, or a $20 replacement warranty for a $30 cordless phone. So until I come across a really good name list, I'd suggest that you run potential baby names by me first, or check with some other rational person that loves you.