The Name Game

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Bad Mom Moves, Blogging, Little Rhody, Miss Kate, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Summer, Travel | 11 Comments »

On the brink of my eighth year of marriage I’ve discovered the key component of successful matrimony: that both parties find stupid, ongoing jokes hi-larious.

This is what it is like in my marriage. There are things that are so horrendously obtuse–absurd things that we’ve joked about for years—that we still laugh wine out of our noses about. Yes, it’s the spewing of wine from our nasal cavities–a sort of pinot noir neti pot cleansing—that keeps our love alive.

That, and we both hate mushrooms.

Anyway, one of the things we find freakin’ side-splitting has to do with names. And pretending we regret what we named our girls whenever we hear another, well… ‘noteworthy’ name.

Of course, the names don’t even need to be first names. Anything ridiculous will do.

Take last night. Had we been watching the Olympics together (versus me watching on my parents’ TV in Rhode Island and Mark watching LIVE in London), when the female swimmer Ranomi Kromodijojo’s name appeared on the screen, in a matter of seconds either Mark or I would say, “Remember when we almost named Kate Kromodijojo?”

I know, I know. It’s only funny to us.

Opportunities for this name game ABOUND. And thank God, really, because our marriage is strengthened mightily every time we repeat this joke.

Just this weekend, with Mark nowhere in sight, I was visiting friends in Connecticut who offered to take me and the girls to an amusement park called—get this—Lake Quassapaug. QUASSA-paug? How freakin’ beautiful is THAT? I couldn’t resist. I turned to my friend’s niece Sarah and say, “Your parents almost named you Quassapaug you know.”

I got an excellent tween-aged whatchu-talkin’-bout-Willis look. Then she walked away.

Anyway, the past several weeks in Rhode Island have provided rich fodder for this game, specifically in the arena of Native American town names. Like, on the drive to my dad’s from Logan Airport we pass a town called Assonet. There’s just so much to love about that. It never fails to pique my stuck-in-second-grade sense of humor.

In fact, I believe on more than one occasion I’ve busted out in my best 80′s Newcleus voice, “Ass ON it. Ass ON it. Ass on-non-on-non-on ON it.”

Think of those poor soul’s at Assonet High. College admissions officers must accept them based on pity alone. Who cares about his SAT scores! Get that child OUT of that tragically-named town!

Yawgoo Valley, Wickaboxet, Mashapaug, Pettaquamscutt Rock, the Woonasquatucket River. If I had a piece of wampum for every excellent Indian name I’ve encountered this vacation I’d be a rich rich woman.

I can’t imagine saying these words in every day parlance. My friend’s son played little league against a team from Wanskuck. What do the kids from that team chant to psyche themselves up before a game? “Wanskuck! We don’t suck!”

A couple weeks ago I got fired up on the idea of renaming Paige Wampanoag (pronounced WOMP-uh-nog) after a small, un-impressive highway—the Wampanoag Trail—we sometimes take to Providence. After several weeks of blissful Rhode Island livin’, it seemed a fitting homage. Or rather, a wicked good idea. (We’d also considered Sachuest for Paige, to honor our favorite Newport beach, since it’s other name, Second Beach, wasn’t as pretty with McClusky.)

As for big sister Kate, I was thinking of rebranding her with a more food-related moniker: Little Neck. You like?! Quahog (pronounced KO-hog)—the giant hard-shelled clam the state’s renowned for—is another contender, though we could always employ it as a middle name.

Anyway, I’m en route to New York to the annual BlogHer conference. I had grand plans to redesign this blog before the event—like making the push to get in shape before your wedding day. I even considered renaming the thing. But as you can see, I never quite got around to it. And honestly, the way my brain’s been working this summer, it’s probably best I didn’t.


11 Comments on “The Name Game”

  1. 1 Mark said at 4:28 am on August 3rd, 2012:

    Remember when you almost named this blog Zippy?

    Love from London,
    the Husband

  2. 2 kristen from motherload said at 7:16 am on August 3rd, 2012:

    Makes me think of Zippy the Pinhead–a brilliant cartoon that used to run in a RI alt weekly. And when you consider my exceptionally wee noggin. it’s actually apt.

    I miss you, husband. xoxo

  3. 3 stacey said at 8:05 am on August 3rd, 2012:

    I am not going to steal this idea because I am going to tell my husband, Watoosie, where this game came from. I think this is just the type of spark every marriage could use.

    Actually, might be a good marriage book for you to write. VERY funny.

  4. 4 kristen from motherload said at 8:44 am on August 3rd, 2012:

    Stacey: Why isn’t your ass at BlogHer? Who am I going to have a late-night pizza binge with?

  5. 5 Sacha said at 10:11 am on August 3rd, 2012:

    Hah – love this blog. I have been obsessing about a river name in Maine that I always pass on my way to my grandmothers – thePassagassawakeag river! Hah – might have you beat on crazy Indian names that you can’t pronounce and have a second grade sense of humor to it!! Can’t wait to see you back in Cali!

  6. 6 kristen from motherload said at 10:39 am on August 3rd, 2012:

    That is so excellent! There’s a Polish funeral home in my mom’s home town called Czelusniak (had to look that up). I think it’s pronounced SHELL-OO-znee-ak. It’s the first thing you see when you drive into town and my sisters and I always loved it. I could do a whole post about the Polish names I’ve encountered in my day. A common letter combination is “zcz” smack dab in the middle of a word. Good times.

  7. 7 megan Bibbo said at 6:59 pm on August 4th, 2012:

    I can only imagine the texts that Mark has been getting in London! Jack and I stopped in Weed for a pit stop on our way to pick up the kids from my parents house a few weeks ago. Jokes abound all the way to the Oregon border. You would have loved it.

  8. 8 Mama Kautz said at 1:48 pm on August 6th, 2012:

    Love it….We have a town named Athol near us…go with that…

  9. 9 kristen from motherload said at 1:23 pm on August 8th, 2012:

    Hilarious, Mama Kautz. Though I think I’d be a read athol to do that…

  10. 10 Lorette Lavine said at 8:04 pm on August 8th, 2012:

    Love this post…I spend time in Portsmouth RI and often have some of the same conversations especially when it comes to Assonet, MA.

  11. 11 Jessica B said at 9:31 am on September 7th, 2012:

    Makes me think of the time I almost spent my entire life in a town called Coxsackie (pronounced COOK-sock-ie).

    Yep, another town in NY named after some Indian thing. I think it’s supposed to mean “the hoot of an owl.” Not that I’ve ever heard an actual owl hooting here or anything, but that’s besides the point.

    I’ve heard it pronounced “COCK-sack-ie (I’m sure you can imagine the torture…),” “KAWA-sack-ie (as in the motorcycle?)” CO-sack-ie.” There have been so many more.

    I like your private joke with your husband (that kinda isn’t so private anymore…), we have some of those goofy kind of on-going jokes too. Funny post. :)

Leave a Reply