Let's call her Fannie Mae,
She'll stay in this place.
No, let's call her
She'll never leave this town.
Then the universe had an aha! moment,
and said Oprah.
From Maya Angelou's Farewell Poem for Oprah
OK. I know any post that starts with a quote from Maya Angelou about Oprah is going to set the expectations pretty high. So let's stop that right now, and please lower your expectations back to the level of the waffle you would usually read on RRSAHM.
That being said... I happened to watching Oprah's Farewell gigs, and this poem- this line in particular- stuck with me.
I don't know how true it is... but think about it. Can you imagine a talk show The Fannie May Winfrey show? I just don't think it would have the same appeal. But then again, that's probably exactly what people said about The Oprah Winfrey Show, back when it started- what kind of name is that?! The story goes that it was an unintentional mistake- what was meant to be Orpa was misspelled on her birth certificate to read Oprah.
I've been blessed with a very different kind of name. Obviously (duh) it's Lori. I've gotten the impression that it's more popular in the US of A than it is here, but I was twelve years old before I met anyone with the same name as me, and I can count the number of "Lori's" I've met in my lifetime on one hand.
I love it now, but when I was a kid.. it was just a burden, that made me stick out. A boy's name that I was teased about. I wished, with all my heart, to be a Melissa or a Katrina or even a Lucy.
As I got older, I started to appreciate my name a bit more. A 'different' name can get you places in life. People remember you. In a world of Michelles, Angelas and Kate's, sometimes it's good to be memorable.
As well as being a stand out point, a name that's a bit different can build character. You have to learn, early, that you have something different, that some people may make a big deal of it, but, really, it's no more important than anything else on the outside.
And that's an important lesson to learn.
My own little girl has a name that will stand out a bit as she gets older- it's different, but old fashioned, and far more feminine than mine. I copped a bit of flak from various friends and family members when I first announced her name to them- one person in particular felt the need to question, at my baby shower, what I "was doing to that poor kid."
But really, a name's not going to make a lick of difference. If a kid's going to be teased, their classmates will find something- anything- to pick on them about. If she does get teased about her name, I still it's a small sacrifice for having a moniker that will brand her with all kinds of individual awesomeness as she grows up.
I like to think the same thing happened with Oprah. As a Fannie May, or a Bobbie Brown, she may have been just as talented and inspirational as she is now- but she may not have had that grit, that sparkle, that comes with having a name all of her own.
Find Lori also over at Facebook and Twitter. And while she may be too modest to tell you, I'm happy to shout it from the rooftops. Very recently, Lori was selected from a group of incredible bloggers to be a new resident blogger over at a very popular U.S site In the Powder Room. I've read the blogs that Lori was up against to seal that gig, and I was so incredibly proud of her, I confess, I got a little teary. Aussie chick makes good, people.
As well as being a part of the Administration of our own blgogers forum - Digital Parents (and seriously, if you're an Aussie blogger, and you've not joined up yet, you really should. It's not just about the 'popular', but there are challanges, support groups, new blogger outreach, heaps of tips and friendships as well as live chats and webinars (No. They didn't pay me for any of that. But if you can get Brenda to send me chocolate....;D ).