What's in a name?


I had to write a little story about my name for my memoir class. I decided to post it as a blog, since I thought it could be interesting.  I am so exhausted today, sorry for any errors or my lack of thinking clearly. I guess Daylight savings time can do that to ya, and it doesn't help that I was out till 2 am last night. Lazy Sunday.  Well..not really Lazy, I've been doing work since I woke up.

Heres my story..


Kate. The name Kate is a lovely name.  There are many famous Kate’s, there’s Kate Winslet, Kate Hudson, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Moss and Kate Bosworth; all are stunning actresses or models.  The name also means pure, which I suppose could be a word to describe me; I’d like to think so anyway.  It’s beautiful, it’s elegant and sophisticated, but Kate is not my name.   

My mother named me Lauren. She decided on Lauren last minute the day I was born.  Up until this point, the name she had planned for me was Kate.  It was the only name her my father could agree on before I was born.  She tells me the story more often than I’d like saying, “you were born the 17th of February, 1987, in room 7, at 7 pm, while the Miss America Pageant was on in my hospital room.”  Then she tells me that I did not look like a Kate, instead a Lauren.  I’d like to know, what made me look like a Lauren and not a Kate?  Was it my eyes, nose, or maybe the color of my hair? Whatever it was that made her change her mind, I’m glad she did.

I guess the reason I appreciate my name is that it was not just something my mother liked at that time in her life. Who knows I could have turned out to be “Violet Blossom” if my mom would have named me from what she liked in her hippie years.  Instead it was purposely chosen for me that first day she glanced at me in the hospital.  I’d also like to think I like the meaning behind the name.  You know those little name cards you can find at gift shops that give the name and meaning?  Mine always read: Lauren-victorious in spirit.  I love to think that I’m victorious, a woman who conquers, who is triumphant and successful.  Yes, that is me.

My middle name is Elizabeth. My mother wanted us to share the same middle name, so that is why she chose this.  However, if I really want to be technical, I should have had no middle name because my mom actually has no middle name.  Yes, that’s right; my mom’s full name is Eileen O’Leary.  She liked the name Elizabeth growing up as a young girl and just decided to throw it in there since she disliked that her mother never gave her one.  It is not even official, just official in her mind. Either way, mine is official, Lauren Elizabeth.

My last name is O’Leary.  Yes, I’m Irish, but I’m also French, Swedish and German.  And no, I’m not related to the Mrs. O’Leary who owned the cow who is to blame for the famous fire of 1871. I am not particularly fond of my last name because it was not uniquely chosen; I inherited it from my father.  However, I like the ring of my name together. Lauren Elizabeth O’Leary.  Lots of those letter L’s, which have a nice sound to them.   

Someday my name might change but I hope not.  I have spent 22 years getting comfortable with this one.


so.....whats your story?