The Name

I wanted to be named Chloe.

Or Sarah.

Or Jessica.

Or Ashley.

Or Brooke.

These were the names of girls that took ballet and had boyfriends and made the volleyball team, and were driven around in Volvo station wagons.

My parents named me Kimberly…

Kimberly is the name of a girl whose asthma prevents her from doing any sports, and gets the “citizenship award” every year in grade school because her teachers feel sorry for her.

I think my life would have been a lot different if my parents had named me Chloe.

First of all, I would be living in New York City.

I would be a celebrated choreographer. I would have one cat named Maurice that shares my first-floor brownstone on the Upper Westside. I would have a tumultuous, yet intoxicating relationship with the theatre’s director. Yes, he’s married with three kids, but his wife is a cow and he wants to leave her… he’s just waiting for the right time.

But, my name isn’t Chloe.

My name is Kimberly.

I live in Burbank, California.

I’m not celebrated (except on my birthday). I live in a duplex and I don’t have any pets. Also: I’ve been married to the same man for eight years.

When I was born my parents looked at my face and nodded and said, “Kimberly”.

I recently asked my parents why they named me Kimberly and they said, “we liked it”.

After I thanked them for being so specific… and after they thanked me for being so sarcastic… and after I thanked them for using sarcasm correctly (for once) by “thanking” me for something that they weren’t really thankful for… I said that I wished they had come up with something a little more hip/current.

Kimberly just doesn’t have that je ne sais quoi.

I mean, I guess I could change it…

I could go to the name changing office and fill out the forms and pay the fee and send out an email to friends, relatives and co-workers that says something along the lines of… “Hey, it’s Kimberly but I’ve gone and changed my name to Chloe because I always didn’t really like my name, so from now on call me Chloe, okay?”

But then I’d have to move to New York City and learn choreography.

Also: I’m allergic to cats.

And, also: I like my husband a fair bit.

So… I guess I’ll stick with Kimberly.


2 thoughts on “The Name

  1. emmabarrett1508 says:

    Kimberly is a great name and you’ll always be Kim who suffered and survived the MA in Creative Writing at Roehampton University with me. Did you know only 8 of us made it through in the end. I think there was about 20 to start with. It could be worse, you could have the same name as our wonderful fiction tutor. I’m going to a talk with Ian McEwan in Wimbledon that’s in association with our old uni. I remember J said he was one of her favourite writers so I will be bringing my crossbow just incase. Xx

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