Thursday, April 26, 2012

changes for marginamia : (

  My favorite dyed egg from Easter was the one that looked like twilight. The egg dying got me crazy to try more, so Monday we dyed a slew of little dresses and dishtowels with turmeric (hooked) and Azalea petals (fail).  The rabbits I made for the girls, Daffodil and Crocus (both boys. pattern here), were named by Nona.  The last photo was taken during a funeral for a bee named... Bee.  You can see the bee in the jar if you look closely.   Nona thanked the bee for "probably" making honey and helping our mother nature so much.  She wanted to put the bee amidst her flower arrangement, where Bee would feel most comfortable.  Then Nona (naturally?) decided the bee would want us to dissect her.  These types of experiences with my family are all light and non-urgent, but important (and even essential), just the same.  None of them have anything obvious to do with today's post, either.   These are just the kind of things I have the time to plan and do on a Saturday with my husband and kids (or in my coveted alone time), when I'm not dealing with crazy emails.  

Wha? If this post seems a bit erratic and rambling (it will), please forgive and bare with me.

I am getting increasingly more emails requesting both public and private consultations. Let me say right up front that I love helping people name their children. I mean, what an honor really.  So it makes me a bit sad that I'm going to be quitting this portion of my services for some time. I can't say that it's permanent, but I think it will be a while before I go back to it. Why? Ugh. 

I've really struggled with whether or not share any details here. It's one thing to value being open with one's experiences (I do), but something else to share the dirty details about someone else's behavior.  It's usually no question for me: with the exception of outing unsavory business practices or cases of giants taking advantage of little guys,  I usually lean on the side of caution and mind my mother's tenet that it's lacking in class and grace to share the dirty details of quarrels and misdealings (sharing them in front of an audience would certainly meet a wagging finger).  In this case, though, I am going to share. I think it's unfair to discontinue something major (consultations) and not tell people why.   I am also balancing any misgivings I might have about doing this by keeping in mind that the person's identity is anonymous, and I'm not sharing the really dirty details.  And who knows, maybe this post will serve as a bit of social pressure for this person, and she'll stop contacting me.

I've had a bad experience. One person, whose consultation I more than completed, has come back too many times using newly constructed identities for herself in order to get more consultation time. She comes up with fake names, new email addresses, and some truly *whopper* accompanying stories - which would be funny if they didn't waste so much of my time - in requesting that I do a consultation for her unborn child. There's no child; she wants a new name for herself and wants more and more and more of my time (and yours) to help her find one that will satisfy her each time she changes her mind about the one she settled on last. (I have nothing against changing one's  name, I just prefer honesty about it and thoughtfulness regarding my time and readership).    She learned my process well enough to know that by the time I call her on it, I'll have provided lists and queries for her to ponder, information on names, etc, so she doesn't care that I'm unable to print the work I've done or taken time from other pursuits to focus on her unending quest. 

Given that I just can't seem to avoid this person coming back over and over, given that people will engage in this sort of stuff at all, I just don't want to do consultations for the time being. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can sort of request that people prove in some way that they are who they say they are, I'm certainly open to them.  Though, this proof I'm seeking from people might not be possible, and it might certainly be off-putting as a request?   But you guys, my entanglement with this person has been going on for almost as long as I've had this blog.   I'm just done until I can find some way around this issue, and my good graces are worn thin.

What's the big deal?   For one thing,  I can't print this stuff -- it's false, and it wastes the time and good faith of my readers.  My own time is pretty precious to me, too (massive understatement). One really in-depth post can take a few weeks of nap times and daddy-outings to create, which is why they aren't super frequent.  Creating them means I'm not doing something else (like sewing bunnies, gathering dyeing supplies, or using that precious alone time to write other things, things that will actually end up being posted).  Please don't get me wrong, I love writing this blog, and am so grateful for this space.  I love making new online friends, talking to the people who most inspire me, and writing about some of my favorite subjects.  It truly is a labor of love.  But let's be honest - that time is coming from somewhere.  I am just not willing to spend it on something untrue and unfair.

I'm feeling pretty frustrated. I'd already stopped sharing a lot of personal bits after someone claimed to be V-June's aunt on the Facebook page of another website last year. creepy. and I haven't shared that much of my children anyway, right?  I dealt with it by promptly going through and deleting my children's complete names from all my posts (along with their name stories).  me, the writer of a name blog.  I know this kind of thing can't be prevented, and I have to decide whether or not to let these people influence my decisions (it sure gives them some power, huh?), but for now I need to step back and gear down. 

I will be posting my final consultation next week. The mother of the family runs a public blog with a history (so I'm sure she's real.)  Please come gather one last time to help name some babies. Yes, plural. They're twins!  If you are a pretty public figure with a blog or something that shows who you are, I may come off consultation-sabbatical for you, too.  

I want to say that many of the people I admire, I admire because they are unwaveringly forthright - generous in sharing their earnestness, even if it's potentially embarrassing; willing to expose their own foibles and struggles; and ever-willing to be vulnerable and generous at the risk of being taken advantage of.   I, too, am trying daily to be open and vulnerable.  I don't want to care if I embarrass myself by enthusiastically expressing my admiration, gratitude, and love to the people who touch my life in large and small ways.  And I want to be totally unfazed (and even compassionate) when someone sees my open door and happy generosity as opportunity for exploitation. But sometimes those opportunists make it pretty difficult to keep going with something. And at this point in my life, with such little sleep and two small children who require so much of my time and enthusiasm, I want to save the fruits of my thoughtful brainstorming for the people who most deserve them.

I'm sorry (and thank you) to all of you who have sought me out for help and to those who would in the future. Congratulations to you all on experiencing the wonder of pregnancy, birth, adoption, parenting and watching those little sibling bonds bloom! I hope my archives will be of some inspiration to you. 

Thank you, readers, for reading this. Speaking of "whoppers", right? 

And, what the heck? From today's post:


Crocus (love this on a boy)




  1. Oh, I love the egg and bunny so much! You made those? Incredible.

    I'm so sorry this has happened to you. You're a kind and generous person, and I appreciate you sharing so many wonderful names with us! You clearly put a vast amount of effort and love into your posts, as I'm sure you do with your consultations. Thanks so much for being open and for being you. It really upsets me that someone would take advantage of that!

    Blogging seems to bring out the crazies. I've had my share of this, and I can empathize with your situation. I've gotten some very disturbing e-mails. One woman opened an e-mail address that was the exact same as mine but using a different host and then proceeded to send me an incredibly nasty e-mail about how awful of a person I was. So creepy. I just want to tell you that you're not alone. The internet is a tough place! But it can also be a good place to, as you already know.

    It's precious that you value your family time so much, and I'm sad that this person has been taking that away from you to the point where you have to stop doing consultations. I think you have every right to reach out to your online community for support in this matter, and you've done so in a respectful way. Hope this will put an end to this frustrating situation for you.

    I owe you an e-mail, btw. I'm so sorry I left you hanging. I'm very behind on my e-mail as I try to meet all my deadlines! But I've been thinking of you and wanting to take enough time to give you a proper response. And I will.

    1. Thank you, Jenny. I think the same email address thing would probably have put me into total hiding, or running to the police or something in a frenzied state of paranoia -- as if there'd be anything they could do. what is there to do? ugh. and no worries on emails, you've had a lot on your plate, I know!

  2. As a loyal follower and fellow baby name lover - I am so sad and sickened that this has happened to you. It is such a shame that one person can ruin an amazing opportunity for so many who would value and appreciate the service.

    In saying that, I am happy to know you will still be blogging and providing me with LOADS of inspiration for future babies!

  3. Oy, I'm sorry to hear all of that! It only takes one person to ruin a good thing. Some time ago I had an experience (and not as long running as yours, either) that convinced me to be more careful with the names of my children and pictures of them on the internet. I have taken to referring to them by their nick names in my public spaces, which I did not always do, but I feel much more comfortable with remaining online after making the change. I have not given them completely false names, but am more careful lately to avoid using their real given names in most cases. While I will miss reading your wonderful consultations, I have to say I'd probably do the same in your case. I hope this person who has been bothering you will take the hint and STOP.

  4. K,
    you're my number one blog I read. Love it to bits. Catch your breath. Your work is extraordinary. May you find some peace with your resolve.
    Jacinda (NZ)

  5. Thank you for this post here.I wish you'll continue with your beatiful blogg in the future too.
    my best wishes to you

  6. I'm so sorry to hear this and so sad that it happened to you! I'm so thankful you could help us name the twins and am so looking to the post, even if it is your last consultation :(

    All the Best

  7. Thank you all for the support and encouragement. It's really nice to hear from people who mean you well, especially after dealing with those who don't. We all grow wiser from these experiences, at least. Thank you all for sharing!

  8. Nooooooooooooo! I was just coming here to ask for a consult! DANGIT. I have a real and legit blog so you can visit and see my face if you want. Maybe you have to require that? Maybe consult for fellow bloggers only? (With a 1+ year history?)

    Well, in case you start up again. Here's the deal. We have a daughter we adopted from Ethiopia. We named her Ariam (R ee uhm.) It means Supreme Heaven in Ge'ez. Nobody else has this name as far as I know. And we LOVE that. But now we are adopting a baby boy from Haiti and our last name does not sound good with any possible names for him. I want something unique and special. It's driving me insane! I don't want to write my last name here since we don't share our first or last names (other than Ariam's) on our blog. But let's just say most boy names wiht this last name sound a bit pornstarish. :(

    If you change your mind someday and want to help with a consultation please let me know! :)
    A - from at the watershed blog dot blogspot dot com

    1. oh shoot! Congratulations on your coming joy. Pop over to see Rowan at Eponymia; ask her what she thinks. This seems like a great challenge for her keen eye!

  9. So sorry about reading this. I discovered your blog about four months ago and I instantly loved all your posts. I support your decision because one's time is so priceless and it's obvious you take your time writing them... however, I'm sure you'll find some kind of solution soon :)

    Best wishes from Spain


  10. Thank you again, everyone, for your support and understanding. The requests keep coming, and I feel a slight pain but also a pretty huge relief with each affirmation of my decision. There are some talented consultants out there, you guys. just visit my "elsewhere" page, and reach out to name bloggers for help with your choice, even if they don't advertise the service. You never know, they may (and very likely would) be more than happy to help you!