Wednesday, September 3, 2008

name game

I have a few bikes - mountain bike, road bike, commuter, ice bike... but I'm not a namer. I don't name my bikes. Nor my car. The car is the "Xa," because that's what it's called -- much as my friend tried to give it a cuter name.

I've never been a gear namer or a vehicle namer. In fact, I've probably not named anything since I named a few kittens as a youngster. Back when I had a dog, he came pre-named. And our cat, "neighbor's cat," well, we call her "kitty." Does that count as naming?

Some people think it's odd that I don't have a name for my mountain bike and I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me. Am I afraid of attachment? Unable to make deeper commitments? Or, as a psych student tried to explain, maybe they are just trying to put their values onto me and it's unfathomable to them to go through life without naming possessions. Names add meaning, I suppose.

Maybe it started when I got my name. My own name was not my mom's first choice. One of my aunts yelled "Eureka!" when my mom said she would name me "Erica." Then, according to family lore, my dad said "How about 'Rosemary?' That's a good name." It's my mom's first name, making me truly "Second-hand Rose," I guess. I used to pretend my name was Erica. I'd write stories and the main character would have that name. She was somewhat of an alter-ego. But what is in a name but family history? The story from the beginning. The name that's my mom's. The Irish Catholics.

So, here I am with my borrowed name, still wondering who I am. I don't think I have attachment issues, though I do have a mind that wanders. I just think things in life are so fleeting that to name them assumes that I can call it to me as I would a dog or point it out to someone so they'd know what to grab. Things are things. And neighbor kitty will still be called "Skittles," by the neighbors, much as we think it's a silly name for a cat. And of course most cats don't come when they're called anyway. Neither do any of my bikes.

If any psych students or professionals would like to weigh in on this, I'd love to hear...

1 comment:

Tapia said...

I'm not a psych student (was once) nor am I a "professional," but I thought it only fair to let your readers know that you did name one thing: Selma the Soma (my oh-so-fabulous commuter). I think you are a closet namer...