Name that Friend

It was a spur-of-the-moment comment. The sort of thing that one says in a lighthearted conversation. But the sequels of delight that ensued were rather more of an excited reaction that I had anticipated.

My friend and I had been talking about my blog. I’d left a little comment just for her in a previous post. I hadn’t used her name, I explained as we talked, because I’m trying to avoid giving away too many personal details here, tiny though my corner of the internet is. It was then that I suggested giving her a pseudonym. She didn’t just squeal–she leaped around.

Well, after that, what could I do? A pseudonym she clearly must have. But what?

I could have re-christen her by simply picking a somewhat random first name. Anne. Rebekah. Phoebe. But that’s a bit strange. It needed to have some meaning behind it.

How about something literary? What Jane Austen character is she most like?

I thought about Jane. I think this particular friend is rather more outgoing that Jane (ok, she’s definitely more outgoing than Jane), but, like Jane, she has a tendency to think well of people. I tease her that she can never meet someone whom she doesn’t think is “lovely.” Furthermore, I could say to her, as Lizzy said to Jane, “Till I have your goodness, I can never have your happiness.” But still, I thought, Jane is a plain name. Safe, it’s true, but not very exciting.

Perhaps something a bit more fantastic? Lady So-and-So? The Duchess of Somewhere?

I wasn’t not convinced.

Maybe I could throw in some Latin, for a sophisticated feel? It seemed to work for my blog title. A brief foray on google translate, however, was not promising.

Shall I tell you what I wanted to call her? Promise you won’t snigger? I admit it does sound like the sort of name a six-year-old would think of, but it stuck in my head.

Sparkle.

I know, I know.

But why?

Because she really does sparkle. She has a joyful heart, and it shows.

Because she adds a sparkle to my life. (Oh, so much.)

And so, I thought, it fitted her–it fitted her like my ring fits my finger.

But a little doubt remained. What if she didn’t think it was a good fit? Ought I to run the risk of announcing her new name to the world, only to find out that she didn’t actually like it? I wanted to surprise  her, but in the end I thought it was more important to make sure she was happy with her name.

We laughed as we talked about possibilities this evening. Names were suggested. Names were ruled out. She seemed ok with Jane, and she said she had warmed to Sparkle, but she didn’t seem to love either of them. We kept them in the list, however, throughout our deliberations, and in the end, those two names remained, along with one more: Samantha. She’d suggested Sam, Frodo’s loyal sidekick, and I’d decided it needed to be more distinctively feminine.

And so this is what we came up with: SJ. The S can stand for both Samantha and Sparkle, and the J for Jane.

She liked it. I liked it.

And so, I’d like to introduce you to SJ. She’s already popped up briefly on my blog here and here, and now here she is again–a post of her own, a name of her own. A friend I’m so thankful to have.

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