I lost my best friends in a car accident when I was 19. We had literally known each other since we were in diapers. We had all these plans: travel, college, careers, and kids. All that was cut short by some a-hole who ran a red light. Since then, I vowed that if I had a daughter, I would name her after them. I am married with a son. My husband’s family has a tradition of using the grandparents’ names, especially the boys. I didn’t have a problem with this, but I am pregnant with a girl now. I have spoken at length with my husband over the years about wanting to honor my old friends. He also agreed and said he understood.
But recently, at a family event, he let slip to his mother what we were going to name our daughter. She has never been my biggest fan, but I thought our relationship has mellowed out over the years. She later cornered me and asked me if I was “really” going to name my daughter that. I was taken back and told her that I had been holding onto the name for years. I wanted to honor my friends. My mother in law told me that was “bizarre,” that you name children after family, not “some dead girls” I knew in high school. That hit me hard and I started to cry. She backed off and didn’t say anything else for a while. I thought that was the end of it and didn’t mention it to my husband. I didn’t want to start anything.
Only my MIL had other plans. She went around the family and told people what happened—only making me out to be crazy. Since then, I have had everyone from my sister-in-law to other relatives bring up the topic of the name. They all think it is weird, awkward, and “way too ethnic” (one of my friends was Spanish). Even with my husband shutting his family down, it’s like swatting flies. It doesn’t help that my hormones are all over the place and I don’t know if I am going to burst into tears or bust someone’s lip. I have repeatedly said the topic is over and physically have walked away. We all live in the same neighborhood so avoiding everyone is hard. Plus, my husband works at the family business.
— Rose by Any Other Name