Monday, August 8, 2011

Hines-Sight Blog Guest Post!

Today I am pleased to introduce Leigh Powell Hines of Hines-Sight Blog. Leigh is a former TV Journalist / Communications Executive turned stay-at-home mom. She blogs "about the daily joys, chaos, and sometimes 'pull your hair out' experiences of having small children" in your early forties. She lives in the very state I am currently visiting --  North Carolina -- and often weaves traveling adventures  and Southern tales in with her SAHM experiences. Her self-proclaimed "obsession" with luxury hotels may even rival my own! 

She has a charming voice and a refined sense of style. I love reading Leigh's posts and hope you will enjoy this little bit she agreed to share with me. 

Without further adieu . . .

Frankly, My Dear, It’s Like Vivien Leigh

This may sound odd, but one of the things I loved most about being pregnant was picking out a baby name, especially a little girl’s name.  It’s no surprise, really, because I was that little girl at an early age, the one who actually owned a baby name book.  I was constantly writing stories, naming my characters and dolls.  It was my favorite book.

There are no more children in my future to name, but as a mom to a 20-month-old daughter, I will be sure to ask to help with her dolls’ names. I’ve already named two because, well, she doesn’t talk. Based on the latest name research, she might opt for Pippa, Asher, or Hadley in the future.  These names are moving on the fast track for becoming the hottest names for 2011. Ironically, Hadley is a family name in my husband’s family, so it’s not new to us, but it is gaining popular ground with the masses since the best-selling novel “The Paris Wife.” Having two people named Hadley is confusing enough; we’ll refrain from throwing a doll with the same name into the mix.

I grew up with an unpopular name. However, around the time I was born, Leigh had its best baby-name ranking ever, debuting as number 202 in 1969. Since 1996, it has not even made the top one thousand names.

I was named after my father, who spelled his name Lee. I rarely met another person named Leigh growing up. If I did, then it was her middle name. I always thought my friends had cooler names. I was a one-syllable gal. They were Michelle, Amy, Kimberly, Christy, and Jennifer. Fast-forward twenty years, and the names Kimberly and Jennifer are ranked as the top two names of all my Facebook friends, coming in at ten people each.

The other day at an ice cream social at a summer camp, I started chatting with a mom who has children the exact same age as mine.  We talked for a while, hitting it off, telling our children’s names, and finally I said, “I’m Leigh, by the way.”

Her eyes widened. “Me, too.”

She went on to say, “I’ve never met anyone with my name. I don’t think it’s very popular outside the South.”  She told me she lived on the West Coast awhile, and one co-worker even asked, “What’s that short for?”

“Just Leigh?” the woman asked.  “I bet you are mad at your mama for naming you that.”  We got a good laugh out of that one.

When I moved to the mountains of North Carolina, everyone pronounced Leigh like “lay” as in “sleigh.”  The other Leigh got that, too. Here in North Carolina, people are used to pronouncing our state capital, Raleigh. As a result, our correct pronunciation stats have now gone up, and Leigh is properly pronounced here so that it rhymes with flea and sea. Yes, I know the mountains of North Carolina are also in North Carolina, and they have the same capital, but it’s just different up there.

People used to look at me like I had two heads when I was a child in the ’70s and I said, “It’s Leigh, like the actress Vivien Leigh.” She wasn’t known as Vivien “Lay.” The Leigh I recently met said that some of her older patients would use that reference when she introduced her name, but very few people under the age of 50 know about movie actress Vivien Leigh, who played one of the greatest female characters of all time on the big screen.

Case in point: my husband. When I told him the story of meeting the “other” Leigh, he asked, “Who’s Vivien Leigh?”

“Frankly, my dear, we need to watch, ‘Gone With the Wind,’” I replied. “It’s a classic, just like my name.”

I thank Amy for allowing me the opportunity to fill in for her while she is enjoying some time with her family in the Tarheel State.  If you get the chance, please stop by the Hines-Sight Blog, and say hello. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog Design by Sweet Simplicity