Call My Daughter by Her Name, Please!

Julie Ryan Evans

Photo by Julie Ryan Evans; Lila Claire and her brother, Nolan
I always thought naming a girl would be fun, but when it came time to name my daughter, it was painful.

My husband hated my favorite names ("Eleanor" and "Beatrice") and refused to let me use any combination of names that could result in an embarrassing monogram or future email address -- which actually ruled out quite a few. Too trendy, too tacky, too many dogs with the same name ...

In the end, we came up with one we both liked pretty well: "Lila Claire."

I liked the traditional feel of a two-name name and the way it sounded together. Unfortunately, it's rarely used together.

Now I understand why friends and family who we see regularly don't call her "Lila Claire," because my husband and son often call her only "Lila," and occasionally I do too. But what absolutely floors me is strangers who refuse to call her by the name I give them.

It never fails. I'll be in a store, and someone will stop to talk to us.

"What's her name?" they'll ask.

"Lila Claire," I'll reply.

"Oh, Lila, that's pretty."

"Yes, we really liked Lila CLAIRE," I'll respond.

"Well, it was nice to meet you, Lila," they'll say as they wave good-bye and I'm left a little annoyed, but mostly amazed at just how often this happens.

In fact, I'm not sure any stranger has ever repeated back to me her full name.

For years, two-name names were common (Mary Beth, Peggy Sue, Cindy Lou Who ... ). It's not like I'm asking them to include her Social Security number, just the name I gave her. Apparently that's asking too much.

Do you people call your child by the wrong name?

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