Picking a name for your future child can be difficult. Maybe even contentious, if you and your partner don’t have the same sensibilities. But one dad has truly taken it to the next level with his over-the-top complaints about his wife’s approach to choosing a baby name.
“Dear Prudence,” he writes. “My wife and I were elated to find out we are going to have a daughter! We decided to discuss names last week and gave ourselves three days to prepare our ideas.”
He goes on to complain that while he “spent a ton of time” on the task, even putting together a “presentation,” his wife showed up with a few names “scribbled on the back of a grocery list.” As if that wasn’t offensive enough, her ideas included both “trashy misspelled names like Lauryn and Bethonie” and the names of “18th-century presidents” such as “Madison, Taylor, and Polk,” not the “special names from literature and the arts” the question writer selected.
The writer says that this “major red flag” has him “questioning the foundation” of his relationship with his wife and whether they should be raising a child together.
He signs the letter “Baby Name Blow-Up.”
Aside from the fact that liking different baby names hardly seems like an egregious red flag, there’s also the possibility that the wife was a little too busy, you know, cooking this guy’s baby to prepare a Powerpoint presentation of literary names.
So naturally, the fine people of Twitter couldn’t resist trolling him.
But don’t worry, there were a few who were on the letter writer’s side.
Luckily, the advice columnist who writes under the “Prudence” moniker, Mallory Ortberg, has the situation in hand.
“I have good news for you, which is that your wife’s behavior is not anywhere near the neighborhood of red-flaggery,” she begins her response.
Farther down, she adds, “Most parents-to-be don’t develop PowerPoints for possible baby names, and the fact that your wife didn’t write an essay for each of her ideas is not an indication that she’s going to make a lousy parent or that she’s less excited than you about having a child.”
Finally, she suggests the question writer, “Apologize to your wife profusely for your unkind overreaction, then have another brainstorming session—have several—and try to bring a great deal more generosity of spirit and open-mindedness to the process.”
And hey, Bethonie aside, let’s not forget that Madison and Taylor are perfectly popular baby names ― the former even came in at number 18 on 2016’s most popular list.