Stretch and Sage

July 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm 2 comments

In late February, Ryan and I moved in with my parents in their luxury townhouse.  We brought with us our pets, including our orange cat, Stench.  Now Stench is fourteen years old… and for fourteen years he has gone by his name… “Stench”.


Shortly after we moved in, my mother decided she didn’t like the name “Stench”.  She started calling him “Stretch”.  Not only that, she started enforcing her new nomenclature on everyone else.  So we would have conversations such as this one:

Vicky: Is Stench outside?
Mom: You mean Stretch!
Vicky: Stench.
Mom: Stretch!

This irked me. I didn’t name the cat, so I’m not particularly vested in “Stench”.  It has no emotional significance to me.  But the cat has had his name for fourteen years…nearly a decade and a half.  For goodness sake, he already has an established Flickr tag. Do we really need to rename him this late in the game? 

Laid-back Ryan wasn’t phased by the name change one bit… which prompted this conversation:

Vicky: Oh yeah? Well what if she doesn’t like the baby’s name?!?  Is she just going to rename him too?
Ryan: Don’t be ridiculous, sweetie.

At our twenty week ultrasound, Ryan and I found out the sex of our baby and shortly afterwards we decided on the name.  We were diligently keeping the name to ourselves, but one day driving to my grandmother’s, my mother implored us to share our secret with her.   “I really want to know the name,” she said.  So we told her… and guess what!  She didn’t hate it!!! I was so relieved.

Vicky: Oh good!  There were people on the Internet who said they would never name their baby Sagan because it is only one letter away from Satan.

Gah!  I said that!  Me! I planted that seed.

All seemed well and then a week or so later I was eating breakfast in the kitchen when my mother dropped this line on me:

Mom: I’ve been telling everyone that I’m going to call him “Sage”.  The more I think about it the more I don’t like “Sagan”.

Two things stuck out to me. First off, I noted she started with “I’ve been telling everyone” which indicated our secret wasn’t so secret anymore. Secondly, I noted that she did in fact, change the name of our unborn son.

What turned my mother’s opinion of “Sagan”?  One of the reasons she cited was “It is too close to Satan.”  Me and my big mouth!

Luckily now Sagan is born and the birth certificate has been filled out, we are seeing a great deal more acceptance of his name.

There doesn’t seem to be any hope for “Stench” though. 🙂

Entry filed under: Sagan, Stench.

Sagan Bath Time Seinfeld and Natural Child Birth

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kitty  |  August 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Oh my goodness, I can totally relate!! When Garrett and I were considering baby names before finding out the gender of Maddie, we were sharing our thoughts with close friends and family…. that is, until we shared with my family. Most of our friends politely would comment on names, giving yays or nays, but being polite anyway just in case we really loved the name. My family, on the other hand, had no reservations. My brother Steve actually said, “oh, God no!” in response to one possible name. When the topic of possible girls’ names arose, my mom and sister teamed up to bash down any thoughts we had, insisting that we name her (if it ended up being a girl) “Elizabeth” and call her “Betsy”. Or, of course, “Winifred” was an acceptable name, since it was my mom’s mother’s name. Toward the end of the conversation-turned-debate, my mom and sister boldly stated that they were going to make a t-shirt for our baby that said, “Just call me Betsy” and would call our child Betsy no matter what we named her.

    Once Madeline was actually born, and her name was chosen as Madeline, acceptance was a lot more smoothly practiced than I anticipated. I suppose Madeline was on the top of my family’s list, at least of the girls’ names we were considering, so it worked out alright. If we someday have another girl and name her Juniper (another name that was on our list of possibilities), I wouldn’t be surprised if that t-shirt is made after all. We shall see….

    Either way, this post made me laugh in recognition (there’s a better word for here, but I’m tired, so “recognition” it will remain), and made me feel a bit better that my family members are not the only ones who change names! Thanks for posting!

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