As I stormed off, my mom chimed in, “Well Dale, your middle name ‘Janeé‘ is very feminine. It has an accent mark and it’s French,” she said.“Really?” I asked, unaware of the accent. We weren’t French, but that sounded kinda cool and fancy. A little more Waldorf’ Astoria and less Sam Walton; so I dropped the name change idea.
Fast forward a decade. I recently looked at my birth certificate after losing my passport and discovered the accent on the ‘e’ was drawn on with a Sharpie! They probably added it right after that highschool fight and while briefly annoyed, there could be worse family secrets. Now moving on to a very pregnant Jessica Simpson.
From Jayden, Madison, Taylor, Jordan and Morgan; unisex names are popular. It was rumored last week that Jessica Simpson is going to name her new daughter, “Maxwell.” There was also a story this month on the Today Show about whether more parents are increasingly regretting their kids’ names. Often, it seems parents regret picking a name hard to pronounce, spell, or choosing a name so common that 5 other kids in their class have the same one.
1. I get mail every week titled “Mr. Dale…”
2. I have to require special notes on accounts that I’m a female (like cell phones, cable bills, etc.) so when I call in the customer service rep gives me access.
3. My identity was stolen in college by a 60-year-old man in Visalia, CA who collected disability checks for years using my name before anyone noticed
4. I get letters from the AARP and a membership application nearly every month
5. I constantly get accusatory or weird looks from sales associates thinking they caught me with a stolen credit card at stores. They look at my card and say “Your name is Dale? Can I please see your picture ID?” If I was a guy, I don’t even think they’d check.
6. I hear “that’s a guy name” or “I’ve never met a woman named Dale” multiple times a week
7. Since Dale Evans, (famous female country singer in the 40’s & 50’s) TV Shows & movies never have female characters named “Dale” and males with the name fit a certain mold. Please see below…
Celebrities change their names all the time and give their newborns unheard of monikers while they’re at it. I’m a fan of unisex names and I’m fine with mine now, although I’m keeping that accent mark. If you’re going through something like this with your daughter or son, keep a Sharpie pen on hand because having a less common name can have upsides too.
I’ve met a lot of people who go by nicknames, their middle name, or changed it for various reasons at some point in their life so this seems to be more common than I thought.