Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Name for a Girl

Lyani and I went out to supper with some friends last Friday night, to Denny's, of all places (no, Denny's in Japan has nothing in common with the US Denny's other than the name and the fact that it is open 24 hours a day). The reason that we chose Denny's is because they have parking, and our friends have a car. Which is pretty amazing to me, since most people who live in the Tokyo area do not have a car, and me being one of the car-less, I never consider things like parking anymore. Which is a good thing, since I remember how much finding parking in a city sucks.

But anyway.

These friends are a co-worker of mine and his wife (I have decided that I am not going to use the names of my friends in the blog unless they specifically say it is OK, just to protect everyone's privacy and so on). Which is important to the story for two reasons, the first of which I shall now reveal: since Lyani and I live in Yokohama, and these friends live out in Chiba, close to work, we decided to eat in Shinbashi, which is roughly halfway between our respective abodes. So my co-worker and I drove (and by this I mean, he drove his car and I sat in the passenger seat, admiring the scenery) from work to Shinbashi Station, where we met our wives.

So we found a Denny's, using my co-worker's fancy GPS navigation system (I want one so badly! And yes, I know that they have GPS software on mobile phones these days, but that would require me to purchase a new phone, and I cannot bring myself to do that), ordered some tasty food, and started chatting.

So the second reason that it is important to know that these friends are married to each other is that she is pregnant with their first child. So they have been thinking of baby names--both girl and boy names, since they do not know which it will be yet. So, as it turns out, have Lyani and I. Not because she is pregnant or planning to be anytime soon, but because that is the sort of thing that married people who do want to have children some day tend to discuss occasionally.

So Lyani and I mentioned that we have a good name for a girl, but have not decided on one for a boy yet. And our friends were in the same boat; they had a name they really liked for a girl, but had not hit on a great boy's name yet.

So the four of us are all excited (because having kids is a pretty exciting thing for young couples), and Lyani shares our name with them. At which point jaws drop and incredulous expressions are assumed on the other side of the table.

"No way!" exclaims my co-worker, "I must have told you that, right? And you are just joking?"

"No, why?" I reply.

And of course they had picked the same girl's name. Which is pretty incredible, since the four of us are all from completely different cultural backgrounds and native languages (America, Bulgaria, Japan, Argentina; English, Bulgarian, Japanese, Spanish). And this name is not wildly popular, either. It is not like we all settled on Maria, or something.

"So what is the name?" you might ask. To which I might reply, "Fat chance! You will not steal our perfect name for yourself!"

So now we have a dilemna. Luckily, our friends favour a slightly different spelling of the name, so it might be OK for both of us to use it. Or they might have a boy, in which case my co-worker and I will not have to resolve this dispute by fighting to the death, which is quite fortunate for me, since I would not be winning that fight, and then Lyani would have to mourn me for an acceptable period before finding someone else to father her children, which I would not like at all, no sir, even though I would be dead. I would have to re-enact the movie "Ghost", which might prove difficult, since I have never seen it. But I am pretty sure it involves a scenario not unlike the one which I have gone to great lengths to describe. Namely me being killed but still not liking the idea of my wife moving on.

Can you keep a secret?

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