Sometimes I wonder if I’m full of sh*t because I mock cheesy greeting cards and email-chain poems but some of this name stuff makes me so happy. Don’t tell anyone, lest you ruin my ‘contrarian’ cred.

But today we have two of the things I love most: an update (and it’s a really good update, you guys) AND an update with a request for round two! I love Round Two, once you’ve eliminated some options, and so few people take me up on it!

First, there’s this response to the unicorn letter:


Our little girl arrived in December and we named her Penelope. It was a name at the top of both our lists and your suggestion sealed the deal. We initially shied away from it because Penny combined with my partner's last name forms a bit of a Golden Cannon situation. Thanks to you, we decided to go for it. I'm not sure if you'd be pleased that your advice resulted in such a name?

Thanks again.

Au contraire! I love it. Here’s why – Golden Cannon is always a descriptor of an object, whereas Penny is a nickname for the truly gorgeous and still-underused Penelope, and because your ‘situation’ (redacted for privacy) is far, far less obvious. As in, had to be pointed out to me. Which means your status as the Unicorn People is intact…!

Then there was this update – which is itself a new question – from the author of Don't Panic:

I'm following up on an email that I sent you back in January. At the time of my first email, we did not know the sex of our second child, but now know we are set to have a baby boy in just three short weeks! Your response to my email was incredibly helpful, and while we didn't end up picking any of the names suggested in your column, they did lead us to our little guy's name: Rory. What are your thoughts? I'm not exactly sure how well it meshes with big sister Lennon, but it ended up being the only name both my husband and I really love. It's the only name that truly feels like "the one." For a while we were leaning toward Crosby, but Rory just feels like his name. We haven't told any friends or family, but I trust your advice implicitly, so I'd love your thoughts. Is it a good fit? Too popular? Too feminine? Not unique enough? We definitely were not going for an Irish theme for our kids' names, though it does seem that way now that I look at them together. This is going to be our last babe, so it's our last chance to pick a great name. And...there's still time for you to intervene if you think we've gone completely off the rails! (Of course his name is still what I'm thinking about all these months later- not the fact that our world will be completely turned upside down in the next few weeks)... Whatever gets you through the day, right? Thank you so much for your time!

First of all, look how much less stressed you sound! I’m sure part of that is due to having removed half the options, but I’d like to think part of it is because you found the perfect name. 

This is when you know, you guys. I’m sure you can tell by now that there’s no such thing as a wholly perfect name. But when you fall in love with one, but also see it for what it is – that is, you can objectively see all the potential reasons not to choose it, because it might appear to be too popular or too feminine or not unique enough (spoiler: none of which I agree with) – but you love it anyway, and it “just feels like his name”, well, that’s how you know.

Of course name him Rory. It’s exactly right. It goes with Lennon beautifully, and while there are some people who will associate it with Gilmore Girls (and thus a ‘girls’ name), there are just as many who think it’s a boys’ name, and who associate Lennon with… you know, John Lennon, as opposed to Lennon Parham – so there’s a nice little gender-inversion thing you have going on there. (Lainey: I watch Gilmore Girls and I still associate “Rory” with Rory McIlroy.)

It’s perfect. You did it. I hesitate to tell you that, because I understand your point, that worrying about the name will keep you from worrying about everything else – but you did it. You’re done.

Hooray for names, you guys. Whatever, YOU’RE crying. Go away. Sniff.