Over the weekend we had dinner with some friends whose 6-yr old daughter was lamenting the fact that because her last name begins with an “S” she is always put at the back of the alphabetical line in her class at school. And she had several suggestions as to how to remedy her situation, among them switching her last name and her first name so that she could go by Stuart Carrie. When I pointed out that Stuart sounds like a boy’s name she shrugged and said she was totally okay with that, as long as she got to be at the front of the line. I wish I had my priorities as straight.
When I was in grade school the alphabetical arrangement of kids in my class wasn’t that big of a deal, primarily because I was an “H” and was always situated toward the front of the line which was perfectly fine by me. I never really wanted to be the first person in line because the first person in line was a walking target, a human shield, the first to get shot or struck with an arrow. If anything bad was going to happen it would happen to the first person in line, and the first person in line was usually Adam Armstrong who definitely had cooties and deserved to die.
But my last name is now Armstrong, which means my kids will always be put at the very front of alphabetical arrangements, especially if we decide to name them alliteratively which I’m totally itching to do. I myself was named alliteratively because my father always wanted to be able to step outside on a warm summer night and holler through cupped hands, “Come hither Heather Hamilton.” I just like the ring of Asparagus Armstrong, but that name might get my child killed.