So I have lots of more important things to blog about, but this one has really been bothering me, and it'll just take a second:
You all know I am the queen of "Why do you ask?" both in terms of using it and recommending it for use to transracial/multiracial/adoptive/open/nontraditional in anyway families. It works for most questions, and it helps guide our answers (or stops more questions from being asked). But here's one I can't figure out:
"What's her name?"
Rarely did people ask my son's name when he was a baby or toddler. "Hey, buddy." "Hi, little guy." "Hey there, handsome."
But everyone wants to know Miss I's name. Sometimes it's an attempt at a subtle way of acknowledging their acceptance of a family of our construction, a question in which one can casually use "your daughter," both to test it out and validate it: "What's your daughter's name?" (See, I get it, and I'm okay with you -- and if it's a mistake, it's a mistake in the enlightened direction). Or it might be a way of asking a question that is personal but not TOO personal, trying to get me to offer more than is asked, as if I'll blurt out "HernameisIandshewasadoptedfromEthiopiaandhereareallthepersonaldetailsofherrelinquishment." Or maybe it's a way to feel admitted into our inner circle, because we emit such a warm glow. Maybe they're taking a survey -- I like to hear about, and complain about, baby names too.
The problem is that I always feel compelled to answer, and they never forget. Add this to her incredible beauty and electric personality, and you have an intensification of our fame/infamy. I go to the grocery store a week later: "Hi, Miss I!" The clerk turns to another clerk. "This is Miss I. Check out those lashes!" (which, by the way, really are to die for). In another store, "Miss I! It's you!"
I'm not totally comfortable with strangers calling her by her first name, as if she knows them and they know her. I know that most people are harmless, but for the same reason that I don't sew ds's name on his backpack, I'm not comfortable with the world knowing Miss I.
But I can't exactly say, "Why do you ask?" to that, without seeming like a paranoid freak. (You'll probably all chastise me for ever having answered in the first place. Or maybe now I'm being the paranoid freak).