I need your help. I have this friend. Let’s call her Gretchen. Because that’s really her name. Gretchen is one of the best story tellers I’ve ever known, and I’ve been trying to get her to start a blog since, well, since I figured out what a blog was.
And now she’s finally come to her senses and is ready to start a blog, but alas, has no idea what to call it. The right name is crucial to blogging success, don’t you know. Frankly, I’m stumped myself. But, whenever I’m stumped, I know just where to go.
That’s where you all come in. Will you help us find the perfect name for Gretchen’s blog?
Let me tell you a little about her. I’ve known Gretchen for right at 20 years now. We met when we both lived in Dallas, and then both subsequently moved to Los Angeles. She was instrumental in my survival in the City of Angels. We ended up both living on the street that looks like it is going to run into the Hollywood sign.
It didn’t. But just looked like it did.
Gretchen was the brain child behind “Ladies Night.” Ladies Night formed as a bunch of us girls, mostly from Texas, who desired to gather together every Sunday night, and talk, laugh, and eat really stupid stuff together.
And there may or may not have been a blender and some Margarita mix involved. But I’m not sayin’.
(Gretchen baked my 30th birthday cake, circa 1990.)
(From L to R: Kate, Kathy, Robin, Gloria, Julie, me (in back), and Gretchen)
(Ladies Night took a field trip to Las Vegas)
We kept up with this ritual for years. It wasn’t until we started marrying off, and life pulled us in a hundred directions that our Sunday night tradition ceased.
I miss those women fiercely. We knew intimate details of one another’s lives, and those conversations were bound in secrecy, never to leave the room. Life long friendships were forged.
All while bonding over a plate of sausage balls.
Gretchen and I didn’t always see eye to eye on everything. We still don’t. But that’s okay, because we love and respect each other enough to leave room for differing opinions. And she was the kind of friend that would be at my side in an instant if I needed her.
Like the night she held my hair as I yaked all over an innocent Maple tree in front of my apartment. After only consuming a pomegranate for dinner. Followed by perhaps a shot of Tequila, when I had forgotten that I really don’t drink.
All the Ladies Night gals have grown up, married, and birthed a bunch of babies. One such boy baby was allowed to attend Ladies Night meetings, only because he could not repeat what was said. And men were never allowed into the inner-sanctum of those gatherings.
That boy child is in college now. Sob. Sob.
Gretchen, who is still an actress in Los Angeles, married an Italian boy from New York named Jimmy. And they have a beautiful little boy named Jude.
Gretchen was concerned that her life wasn’t interesting enough to blog about.
Let’s review. Gretchen is from Texas. She’s an actress living in Los Angeles. Married to a New York Italian. Who is also an actor. She’s raising a son in Los Angeles. And she’s Catholic.
That’s the stuff that blog fodder dreams are made of, my friends.
Gretchen wrote a little something for you all, that will kind of give you a glimpse into her journey to motherhood. And hopefully aid in the blog naming, and all.
“One thing I’ve always known for certain, is that I was going to be a mother. I didn’t have a “need” to be a mother, or a “desire” to be a mother. I had what I felt was an actual knowledge that this would be part of my life. So when I woke up one day and realized that I was 40 years old and had still produced no offspring, I decided that I couldn’t just wait around “knowing” it would happen, but that I had to actually get off my butt and make it happen. So my husband, Jimmy, and I started actively trying. And trying. And trying. Which is difficult when you have a husband who only wants to “try” when it’s wild and spontaneous (something which thrilled me in our earlier days together). I was forced to hide the basal thermometer and feign “spontaneous” enthusiasm for “trying”. My husband never caught on as to why I was oh so very frisky at the exact same time every month. He did, however, enjoy it tremendously.
But alas…no pregnancy. At 41, I faced the fact that I should probably get some professional help, and went to a fertility doctor. And being the aging Catholic that I am, I started lighting a candle to St. Jude every Sunday. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes (and fittingly, actors, which Jimmy and I both are), and I thought he would certainly be my go-to guy.
We got pregnant! And lost it. Hmmm. Okay, let’s try again. Only this time, I realized it was time to marshal the forces. Our health insurance would only pay for one more go with the fertility treatments. This was my Waterloo. My Alamo (we Texans LOVE Alamo analogies!). I needed to bring out the big guns. So…I sent out a plea to all my spiritual-minded friends, and they came through for me in a big way. Catholic friends had novenas going across the country, Christian friends added me to their prayer chains, Buddhist friends had their meditation groups chanting for me, a friend on a trip to Europe lit a candle in every cathedral in France, Japanese friends performed Jorai healing over my womb to get it prepared to welcome the child. And then I decided to play my trump card. I went back to St. Jude, and this time, I promised him that if he’d help us have a baby…I’d name the kid after him. Big, right?
And it worked. It worked! We were blessed with a healthy, thriving pregnancy. My fertility doctor loved me because I was a 41 year old woman who got pregnant TWICE, thus skewing his success rate nicely. And my Italian-American in-laws were overjoyed to learn that it was a masculine child.
Now…how to tell Jimmy that I’d already named the kid by making a vow to a saint. Oh no. Jimmy does not like being told what to do. Oh no. He does not like having decisions made for him. Oh no. And even though he is now a pseudo-Hindu, he is still enough of an old Italian Catholic to know that you don’t screw around with a vow to a saint. Oh no, no, no. A vow to a saint is very serious stuff.
We bounced around a few names. Jimmy wanted Vito (I know. But Jimmy’s an Italian actor and has a Godfather thing, and anyway, Vito means “life”, so…). I suggested Levon, for Levon Helm of The Band, a mutual favorite of ours. All the while, I was getting up the guts to make my confession about the wacky vow-to-a-saint thing.
So one night, when I was about 6 months into my pregnancy, we decided to meet for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I got there first and was waiting. When Jimmy got there, he was very wound up and excited (people who know him know that he is usually this way, but this time he was particularly so), and as soon as he sat down he announced “I know what we have to name our son!” Oh NO!! It was now or never. I had to make my confession. “I was driving in the car” Jimmy continued, “And ‘Hey Jude’ came on the radio. How many millions of times have I heard this song? But today, I felt like I was hearing it for the first time. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that that’s what we have to name the baby. Jude.”
Armed with all of this information (and this may be my longest blog post I’ve ever published), please submit your ideas for a name for Gretchen’s blog in the comments. Gretchen knows that I have the best and most witty commenters in the whole blogosphere.
Unfortunately, there are no prizes.
Just the satisfaction that you’ve helped a new blogger begin an obsession a journey that may very well change her life. Forever.
I thank you. Gretchen thanks you. Jimmy, on the other hand, may never forgive me.