“Bane”? Whatever. Having a unique name is the best!!

I’m currently thirty-six years old, and I can tell you quite confidentially: you may travel the world, but you’ll never find another Chauntelle Tibbals. Now, this is not *just* due to the fact that we’re all unique and special snowflakes. I get that I’m the only person that’s ever gonna be me, but I’m also the only human in possession of my first and last attribution super-combo. It’s so awesome.

But I didn’t always think that.

As a kid, my name was weird and I haaated it. My first name never fit on standardized test forms, there were never any cute cups or clips or license plate frames with “Chauntelle” on them, and teachers always always ALWAYS called me “Chantal” – where the hell does that even come from?!

And don’t even get me started on sixth grade and “Tibbals.”

I get that these things are absolutely trivial. Life sure was rough growing up, back when Cafe Press wasn’t even an imaginable thing and there were three Jennifers, three Jessicas, and at least a few Kellys, Lisas, and/or Susies in every single one of my classes.

My dad is the one responsible for my first name, and there’s a good story behind it. Consequently, I never felt like my name was “made up” – it’s just a really unique attribution, especially given my nation state and social class of origin (read: my name is fancy and French, and I’m neither). I think though that having this weird name growing up is why I’m currently obsessed with names – trends, odd spellings, and the death of “Jessica.”

It’s interesting to think about the impact a name can have, both in terms of aging/dating a person and throughout the course of their respective lives. Like Jessica – no one is ever gonna judge her for having such a popular name, but we can all probably guess when she was born. Or Trinity and Nevaeh – we know that they were both born in the late ’90s/early ’00s and that their parents were trendy goofs. (jk… sort of)

I recently read an article in The Atlantic titled “Who Wins in the Name Game? From dating to job prospects, a name has remarkable power over the path of its owner’s life” (7/30/14) – no kidding, right? It was an interesting bit nonetheless, one that once again made me love my name…

…even though – I confess! – I really wished my name was Jessica …or Jennifer (but never Susie) all the way through junior high.


 (pictured: image via the interwebs)

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