Is It Weird That My Ex Named His Daughter After Me?
There are few things more engaging, informative and entertaining than a gathering of intelligent Black people. This past weekend, I trekked from Harlem to Brooklyn to attend such a gathering. And as usual, I was not disappointed. We talked about racial tensions at our alma mater that had finally come to a head, bad dates, HBCUs vs. PWIs, and most interestingly, the intersection of social media and our past lives.
What started off as talk of 10-year-high school reunions turned into a discussion about how social media has granted us access to information we never would have known in the past and arguably, might not need to know today. We talked about the fact that you know not only the relationship status but even the inner workings of said relationships because of Facebook or Twitter. We know how many children someone has had since we graduated high school. And the odd couple from college who got married suddenly.
And perhaps most interestingly, we know, for better or worse, what our exes have been doing since we parted ways.
It was then that my friend from college shared a very interesting story.
Like so many of us, after the breakup she decided to remain Facebook friends with her ex. The two dated two-three years ago and recently, he just so happened to pop up on her newsfeed. She learned that since the last time she’d checked; not only had he gotten married, his wife had recently given birth to a baby girl. Babies are always blessings, so she liked the picture of the little girl and then kept scrolling to find out more information.
After a few scrolls, she found that the little girl had a very interesting name, her name.
Now, for clarification purposes, let me just not that my friend’s name is not Ashley, Kate or Sarah. It’s quite unique and quite Afrocentric. For the sake of anonymity, I won’t use her real name but think along the lines of Fatima.
Most of us, American born Black folk, don’t meet too many Fatimas in our life times. And interestingly enough, her boyfriend wasn’t even American Black. He was Latino and White. So, I would assume that he too hadn’t run into too many Fatimas during his day either.
But after dating a Fatima, for just about a year, he decided that it would be a suitable name for his daughter, something he and his wife would call her for the rest of her life. My friend “Fatima” who had liked the picture of the girl, quickly scrolled back up to remove her like, not wanting to cause any strife in her ex’s household. Imagine what his wife would think to see Fatima liking a picture of her daughter Fatima on her husband’s page. Obviously, since she’s his Facebook friend she would know the two had some type of connection. And Fatima reasoned that if he hadn’t told his wife about the inspiration behind their daughter’s name, she didn’t want to be the one to expose it and cause any tension in their household.
While my friend said a part of her was a bit flattered by the name choice, she also found it exceptionally weird and inappropriate. (I leaned more toward the latter sentiment.) Maybe he just really liked the meaning of Fatima. And maybe we’re all just a little too self centered to see that some people are big enough to disassociate the name from the memories they have with and of a particular person. Still, there’s something strange about calling your daughter by the name of your former romantic partner.
What do you think about naming a child after an ex? Does it mean that they’re not over you and want to honor you in some way? Or does it just meant that they happened to like the name? Also, if you were to discover that your husband named your child after one of his exes, what would you do?