Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Anyway, long story short my name isn't your average American moniker. In fact, I've never met anybody with the same name as me. Ever. In all my travels. Sure, they're out there. I've searched for them on Facebook and they do, in fact, exist. But I've never met any of them personally.
My parents chose my name because, being the hippies that they are, they wanted all us kids to have a name revolving around water. Which I still don't understand because my oldest brother's name means "pile of rocks", and my sister's name means "life" in Greek, but hey, whatever. That's their story and they're sticking to it.
Leith is a wide, rolling river in Scotland that apparently once had wild roses and meadowland all around it. Today, it's a river that flows through the dodgy port district of Leith in Edinburgh. And yes, since you asked, I am incredibly proud to be named after a port town known for its prostitutes and drunken, gambling sailors. Incredibly proud.
Going so long in life without a buddy who shares my name left me feeling lonely as a child. I never had the chance to buy a magnet license plate bearing my name at the tourist shops in Chinatown, after all. Which is all a kid really wants out of life. But as you get older you start calling this lonliness unique and, especially in this day and age, unique is what everyone wants to be. So...
...Imagine my shock when, a couple of weeks ago, I open up my Yahoo homepage, only to be rudely informed that there is a town in North Dakota that stole my name. Oh, and not just any town. It's a town that white supremacists are trying to take over and call their own.
I just kind of had to laugh at this news at first because, when your namesake is known for prostitutes and drunken sailors in Scotland, is a white supremacist town really that far behind? But if I'm being completely honest, I was pretty dismayed that, from now on, people would associate my name with the most despicable types of people on the planet: North Dakotans.
Don't worry, I'm just kidding. North Dakotans are great. But racists aren't, and as a girl who has owned this name for 28 years, I feel like I should have some say here.
Well, fate must have taken pity on my plight and offered me a helping hand by way of one of my guilty pleasures: clothes shopping. I opened up a link today for a cute skirt and what did I see? My own five-letter name staring back at me!
That's right: Leith has its own clothing line. Booyah!
A little quote from the designer of the Leith line, Sadie Tapper's profile: "The Leith girl is more of a risk taker. She mixes influences from the runway and the street to create her own unique look."
Sure. Yeah. What she said. See? Us Leith girls are unique, I tell you! Unique!
Truth be told, I miss the good old days (meaning only two months ago), when no one had ever heard the name Leith until they met me.
Sure, it was a bit intimidating knowing everyone's impression of the name "Leith" depended on how I presented myself. Because then one day someone might go, "let's name our kid Leith!" and then the mom will be all, "No! I knew a Leith once and she was the most annoying, despicable person I've ever met!" Because I say things like that and there are certain first names I know I will never, ever consider calling my children. But I'm a pretty kick-butt person, so I wasn't too worried about that happening with me.
Now all that seems to have changed, and I have drunks and racists to compete with. So at least I have a Nordstrom clothing line fighting on my side to keep our unique name sacred, fashionable and mispronounced for all eternity.