October 15, 2010
Ralf leans back in his chair and regards me warily across seven years of blissful matrimony.
Me: Gerhardt! Isn’t that a great name?
A pause during which several expressions cross his face, followed by no expression at all.
Ralf: You want to name our son Gerhard?
Ralf: Gerhard Schroeder.
Me: Uh huh. I like that name.
Ralf: As in the former German Chancellor?
Me (frowning): Well…. yeah. Why not? He was a good Chancellor.
Ralf: Why don’t you just name him Elvis Presley?
Me (primly): It’s not at all the same thing. People have heard of Elvis.
Ralf: Or Barrack Obama?
Me (rolling my eyes): Way more people have heard of him, too.
Ralf: Yeah, in… He struggles to come up with a suitably obscure location. Texas! THIS IS GERMANY!!!
Me: Hey, what about Tex?
No response besides a slight widening of the nostrils.
Me (regrouping): Anyway, I want to spell it with a ‘t’ at the end, so it’s not even the same name.
Ralf: I refuse to discuss this.
That means he feels strongly about it.
Me (in a wheedling voice): We could call him Gary. Or Hardy. No one would need to know.
Ralf: Go now. Buy a fish. Name it Gerhard or Geronimo or whatever you need to get out of your system.
Me (parting shot): It’s not like I want to name him George Bush!
Sheesh. I guess we’ll have to call him Deke or Garbanzo after all.