Here’s the thing. My father wanted to call me Carrie and my mother loved the idea. It might be the only time in history they agreed on such a momentous decision. It was decided, sealed and conformed in black print on the pale pink birth certificate.
Throughout the years my mother would sporadically mention the song ‘Carrie‘ by Cliff Richard (she was a huge fan) and tell me I was named after this song. I just assumed it was so, and felt a little bit proud. Being named after a song is cool, I thought. (Ignoring the fact that Cliff Richard was really only cool to the religious 30-something housewife set.)
It all sounded innocent enough to me so I never investigated any further.
Until the news of his home being searched by police for suspected sexual abuse came out recently, and catching up with my parents for dinner one night it came up. I mentioned the being named after the song and my father looked at me like I had two heads.
“You weren’t named after that song” he scoffed, “It was written years after you were born!” My mother and I both looked at each other in shock, she protesting vehemently that I was creatively named after such a romantic and mysterious song. (Carrie seemed to have been murdered and never found if you read the lyrics. I’m not sure what I think of that, but I guess it’s neither here nor there given the situation now.)
She recalled him suggesting the name and she liking it and them agreeing on it together. He agreed with her recollection and then was silent. Leading her to ask (of course) where he came up with the name.
“I dated this girl before I married you” he began slowly; “She was such a nice girl and she ended up being a champion swimmer, I just really admired her….” he trailed off.
They stared at each other with the kind of silence that you know is speaking volumes and I got up and left the room.
Turns our ‘Carrie’ was written in 1983, almost a full decade after I was born. No doubt this will do wonders for my mother and my already precarious relationship.