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It's All in My Name

From the editors

My husband doesn't spend a lot of time throwing around pet names for me. It's not because he doesn't find me endearing enough for the standard honey or darling or sweetheart. And it's not—though a good case could probably be made for this—because he gags or rolls his eyes every time moonstruck husbands coo cutsie names. It's because he understands an important thing about me: I'm in love with the sound of my own name.

Loving my name isn't about the size of my ego or any sort of sick self-absorption. I love hearing my name because no one ever gets it right, because you have to know me, or know of me, to know my name. It's an intimacy thing.

One of my favorite grade-school memories is roll call on the first day of fifth grade. The year before I had been the new kid in school and had to go through my usual phonic and history-of-my-name lesson with my teacher. But in fifth grade, it was all done for me. When the teacher called for Karen Dahlstrom, a choir of 10-year-olds chanted "It's CAR-IN Dahl-strAND!" It made me feel wonderful, befriended and known.

And it still does. My husband understands that I get weary of being on guard for variations of my name—my head turns to Karen, Carol, Carolyn, Carmen, Carla. And he knows being called snookums won't make me feel special.

Private, lovey-dovey names may work for other couples, but they just don't for us. I'm sure your marriage is full of things you do differently from seemingly everyone else as well. Should you worry about that? Tim Gardner has one answer in his article, "Are We Normal?," on page 30.

In this issue, we've focused on several couples whose marriages certainly are not run-of-the-mill: ex-gay praise singer Dennis Jernigan and his wife, Melinda (page 42); writer Renae Bottom and her sheriff-husband, Mark (page 48) and brain-tumor survivor Kevin Fearn and his wife, Carrie (page 34).

But, of course, it's appreciating our idiosyncrasies that makes our marriages special and worth celebrating. Right … uh, sweetie?

Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
Associate Editor

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Intimacy; Marriage; Understanding
Today's Christian Woman, Summer, 2000
Posted September 30, 2008

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