The name game

In elementary school, I was referred to as “Allison T.” Because I was one of four Allisons in my grade. Once I got to middle school, three more girls with my same name joined me. In high school we rounded it out to an even ten Allisons.  I’m sure this caused some confusion for other students and teachers. It didn’t bother me as much as it bothered my mom, who picked my name when she was a teenager, long before children were a reality for her.

As an adult, I have encountered other Allisons here and there. Specifically, while running a home daycare. I watched two girls, and both of their mom’s were named Allison. Pretty weird. 1984-1986 must’ve been an all-time high for the name popularity.

I’ve had conversations with family members who have said that they felt bad for me when I was in school which stuck with me for years. When it was time to name children, I think that my brother and I tried to name our kids with unique, yet ‘normal’ names.  So far, we each have two girls:

Olive Victoria, Nora Quinne, Penelope Wren, Sloane Elyse

I don’t know if it’s like when you buy a new car and then you see them everywhere you go, or if we subconsciously picked semi-popular names. The year Olive was born, Drew Barrymore named her daughter Olive just a couple weeks later. 
We went to story-time at our library last week where my kid was one of THREE Noras in a class of 20! They kids were all the same age too. After the class we went to the activity area where we promptly heard someone call out “Sloane, don’t run!” I have never met another Nora or Sloane in my life. In a matter of 15 minutes, my name dream of unique names was crushed.


Penelope happened to be born around the same time that a certain Kardashian named her daughter the same thing.

How does this happen? Is there some subconscious trend for parents that I don’t know about? Both Nora and Sloane were the first names on our lists when we got pregnant. Every other name was fighting for second place. We didn’t hear the names after popularity rose and chose them last minute. So, I don’t get it.

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