To answer this question, the writer in me wants to create a lovely little poem, kind of like the “There once was a girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead; when she was good, she was very good indeed; but when she was bad, she was horrid.” I’ll never forget the day that my dazzling friend Zsa Zsa recited this poem to me, pointing to the curl in the middle of my forehead, turning her voice deep and dark when she recited the line about being horrid, ha ha!
So when my dear friend and longtime reader Mr. Bicycle questioned about Claudette’s second name, I felt compelled to write a poem to provide the answer. I also felt divinely delighted that he a.) cared about the second name and b.) knew enough about my brain to know that a reason existed for it.
Do tell. What is the significance of Claudette Barrette having two names? You don’t do anything without a purpose so do tell?
Oh my! What a grand compliment. And such a great question! Honestly, more questions like this should be offered to the White House “Press Secretary” and perhaps we would learn more information about Sleepy Joe, other than, ahem, what is his favourite ice cream flavour, lol.
Where to start to answer Mr. Bicycle’s question?
The answer is 1985.
Yes, I named my baby sister as Stephanie. It was the first important job that I was given. Before Stephanie’s birth, I had an imaginary playmate named Stephanie. And on her birth, I gifted this name unto my sister, and the imaginary playmate suddenly disappeared. I think this was an early sign of my prophetic brain. I had imagined Stephanie before she was born. When she came true, the playmate was no longer required.
Fast forward maybe two years, and my father suddenly began dubbing Stephanie as “Gwendolyn.” To this day, nobody knows of why he dubbed her as Gwendolyn; and it lasted for maybe a few months at most. But I fell in love with the name of Gwendolyn! I never forgot it!
So when in 2007 I became the luckiest girl on Earth to become a mother to the first love of my life, I titled her with the name of Gwendolyn, as most of you know. But the story is deeper than this! The breeder gave her the name of “Emma.” And although I loved the name of Emma, it rhymed with Sir Henry’s last name, and of course little lovestruck me thought that one day, I would marry him and take his name. LOL (who was that girl?). And I wanted not for my dog to have a rhyming first and last name. Thusly I changed Emma to Gwendolyn. And Sir Henry scolded me, insisting that I could name not my dog something with three syllables, as that creates for complication when disciplining the dog. It is much easier, in his opinion, to yell a two-syllable name versus a three-syllable name. SO MY QUESTION IS: WHEN DID I EVER YELL AT OR DISCIPLINE MY GWENDOLYN?! The answer, of course, is NEVER! And for those of you who remember not the early days of the Nicole and Gwendolyn love story, her formal given name was, “Lady Gwendolyn Marie Story.”
Fast forward three years, and I was in my prime of attending yoga with the housewives (and one very hot man) of Sewickley. Each time one of the housewives had a new child or grandchild, they marked the event with a star tattoo. And I wanted one, too! I thusly sought a nine-pointed star to represent Gwendolyn whose name contains nine letters. Five years later, I had railroad tracks extended from two points of the star, framing “A is A” which is my golden rule / modus operandi. Somewhere along the way, I became extra obsessed with the number nine and learnt that the nine-pointed star stands for the importance of the number nine in the Bahai faith with regard to perfection. Of course, I live on the principles of perfection, so it all suddenly began to converge in my brain that everything that I have always done is some derivative of nine. I am born on the ninth. My sister Stephanie’s name which I created at the age of three is nine letters. My dog’s name is nine letters. The nine-pointed star on my foot is associated with perfection in the Bahai faith. Ayn Rand’s magical date in Atlas Shrugged is 9/2 which is my birthday reversed (2/9). Nine nine nine!
Additionally, my darling sister Stephanie (9) and my darling baby Gwendolyn (9) became the best of friends. Here they are pictured together, on their last time together on Earth. In my heart, I know that they are connected spiritually and deeply forever.
When it came time to choose a name for my new puppy, I decided on Gwendolyn II. But Stephanie urged me to consider something else. I remember it like yesterday! She and my smarty-pants nephew were giving me yays and nays to “nine-lettered names” that I had googled. AND THEN I STUMBLED UPON CLAUDETTE. They both agreed that it is a marvelous name. Additionally, the meaning is perfection because Gwendolyn and I viewed Claudette Colbert in Imitation of Life from 1934 about one billion times. PLEASE, THIS IS A WARNING: although this 1934 film is ONE OF THE BEST FILMS EVER MADE, confuse it not with the 1959 Lana Turner version which is a total loser. But if you are an entrepreneur who loves seeing about the early days of black people and white people having a lovely partnership in friendship and business, do please view this 1934 film starring Ms. Colbert. You shalt be very pleased! And you shalt also crave delicious pancakes, mark my word! Truly the film is so beautiful, sad, smart, and lovely. Additionally, you shalt learn the meaning of “ichthyologist” and likely use it frequently in your everyday speak. “MAMMY,” too!
So we named her as Claudette. Stephanie accompanied me on that very special day.
I toyed with giving Claudette a title of nobility like I did Gwendolyn. But I don’t care anymore about status or nobility, like I did in 2007. So I dropped that idea. Now for a second name! Marie Marie Marie. No. Gwendolyn and I shall share that. I thought about Pearl, a beautiful name of my grandmother’s auntie. No. The flow was happening not.
The “barre” is reflective of my love for ballet. And the “ette” means small. So to me, “barrette” means tiny ballerina. She is my tiny ballerina puggle! Claudette Barrette! How far I have come from disliking names that rhyme to enjoying them, lol.
Of course to the world, according to some proper dictionary, “barrette” means “bar-shaped clip” or “ornament for the hair.” And my entrepreneurial brain thusly began buzzing with ideas of creating upscale barrettes featuring dogs. Claudette Barrettes, coming soon?
There once was a little barrette. Her formal name was Claudette. With curly tail and wiggly hips, oh she earned a kiss! How lovely was this girl. On her paws did she twirl.
The light in me recognises the light in you.