Friday, May 15, 2009

My Name is Darla

Obviously, my parents liked the name Darla when I was born. After all she was the beloved girl on the Little Rascals.

Daddy chose the name.
Mama just let him have his way.

My aunt loved the name and when I complained about it as a child she always told me she wished it was her name. Whether she meant it or not it always helped me to like it better. The problem was no one else I knew had that name. I thought that made me too different.

Linda, being a few years older and more sophisticated and beautiful at the young age of 11 or 12, just coming into her prime you would know, would chide me and say, "Linda means beautiful but Darla doesn't mean anything." I must have been a very sensitive child because it has always stuck with me and even now, at 55 years of age I still remember the first time I heard that while sitting on the bed together with the dictionary open. That was the year our little brother was born and names were the topic of discussion, I assume.

I teach high school art and I don't think a year has gone by that I have not mentioned to someone in one of my classes that "Linda means beautiful but Darla doesn't mean anything." Even my co-teachers get involved in the fun.

I have a close relationship with my co-teachers and often while in the presence of one of the other teachers we tease about my name. We may have a student whose name has a meaning we know so we may say to her, "Vanessa means butterfly. Did you know that?" My co-teacher would then add, "Linda means beautiful but Darla doesn't mean anything." It is all in good humor and has just become a familiar joke to us all. We teachers have a good time together. Our students don't always get our sense of humor much less think we even have one but they will remember us laughing.

It is amazing how often you can work it into the conversation. Bible class, family gatherings, eating out, name it we say it. Just because we did not say it, don't think it is because we were not thinking it. Linda and I often pass a smile to each other in Bible class when the meaning of a name is mentioned. We both are thinking the same thing.

When voting this year I had to vote provisional. Voting provisional means that your vote will not be counted unless completely necessary to break a tie or something. So now in my family there is a follow up to our familiar joke.

"Linda means beautiful. Darla doesn't mean anything......and her vote doesn't even count."

While looking for something else Linda found this website.
Darla-the name, the woman, the legend

Now after all these years I find that Darla means something after all.
I wonder if they will count my vote now.