Work in Progress

At 4:30 am on a Wednesday morning several weeks ago Jon and I discovered that our furious efforts at reproduction had delightfully succeeded, and instead of getting into bed and going back to sleep we talked feverishly for three hours about what we were going to call this little work in progress. It was a discussion I had waited my entire life to have, one that I had practiced hundreds of times before in my childhood with Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids and goldfish I killed moments after bringing them home, so I came prepared with a veritable book of ideas. Jon is just good at spontaneously coming up with random words, so for every idea I threw out, he had something spectacularly insane waiting in the wings.

The discussion centered on the cultural and socio-political significance of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and I almost convinced my sleepy husband that any child would be lucky to be born into a name like Rosco P. If he couldn’t agree on Rosco, he could certainly consent to something as benign as Bo or Luke, or my personal favorite Cooter. And while I took a few seconds to reflect on the once dreaminess of John Schneider, Jon threw out a bevy of perfectly good names that would only make this decision that much more difficult:

Frontline (after the television show or the flea medication)
One (or First, or Premiere)
Format (for a boy)
Formatte (for a girl)

While all of these ideas are teeming with originality and flare, two very important qualities in a baby name, we couldn’t help but think that what our work in progress needed was something more Utahn. You can’t live in Utah and give your baby a boring name that some other baby in Wisconsin might have, and we agreed that someone in Wisconsin could be naming their first born child Alphamask as we speak.

So in the tradition of the Utah Baby Name we took an existing name and tweeked it into an unrecognizable mass of nonsense (I grew up with a Mormon family who named their children VeLyn, DaNelle, KoVar and TreMaine). I threw out “Fonzie” which Jon transformed into “Fawnzie” which when taken to its logical Utahn conclusion ends up being “Fawnzelle.” And so, I present to you:

The Armstrong Work in Progress (if it’s a girl)
“Fawnzelle La Bon Marché Armstrong”


The Fawnzelle La Bon Marché Project
Part 1, Vol 1

The Armstrong Work in Progress (if it’s a boy)
“Fawnzel Le Bon Marché Armstrong”


The Fawnzel Le Bon Marché Project
Part 1, Vol 1

The middle name represents the European flavor we wanted to inject into the name, and even though I took four years of French in high school and two in college, the only French word I could think of other than croissant was Le Bon Marché, so it stuck. And please don’t send me email telling me that I’ve assigned the wrong gender to that word. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “le” or “la” because we’re in Utah and no one knows the difference.

My family is surprisingly horrified that I might actually do this to my child, and when I told my sister, WHOSE NAME IS SEPTEMBER, she threatened not to talk to me ever again. (This coming from a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman who named her two very Aryan twins after JEWISH prophets, Noah and Joshua. I’m obviously the insane one in my family.)