My name has always been a point of contention. It’s unspellable, unpronounceable, and pretty unique. I love it. My name is Gaelic. It means morning. Like, ‘good morning.’ I like to joke that my full name is the most Irish name that ever Irished. But there is a story behind my name.
Just over 30 years ago my mother found out she was pregnant with me. Luckily, she had a whole list of names picked out from when she had my older brother, T. It may have even been older than that, now that I think of it. I do have many older siblings. Back then, poor people didn’t do things like know the gender of their unborn child.
There were many name options available to me. Names like Garrick and Joslyn. My mother was also partial to Scarlett and Molly. Not that Molly was a real option due to it rhyming with my last name. But still.
However, I didn’t get named the awful Scarlett Elizabeth (no offense to anyone named that). Because when my mother was about 8 months pregnant with me, she went to an art show.
This was the 80s and it was no surprise that there was a little girl running around with her name airbrushed on her shirt. I heard tell that it had airbrushed rainbows and clouds and maybe even a unicorn. I always imagined it sort of like the side of a panel van.
My mother took a liking to the way the name looked (on a t-shirt) and stalked the little girl through the crowd and back to her parents. She asked permission to name the baby in her belly Maurna, if it was a girl. Which I was.
A few years later, my parents walked into a Pizza Hut and what should they see but a girl with a name on her name tag. It was Maurna. My namesake.
Maurna even remembered my mother and her stalking. They brought me back a few days later and we met. I was 4 and have no memory of this. But Maurna still does.
Another few years later and I wanted to get an email account. I figured nobody would have just my first name. I mean, there were like 3 people in the world with that name. But when I registered the email account, it was already taken.
I was pissed! Some bitch had MY email! But then I realized, there were good odds that this was the famous Maurna that I had gotten my name from. So I emailed her.
And it was. And she still had the shirt I had gotten my name from. She found it in her attic a few weeks later and emailed a picture of it to me. It was better than I had ever imagined.
Now she and I are Facebook friends. We talk sometimes. And I wonder, would I have turned out differently with some other name? Would I still be me by any other name?