My name is Karen. Don’t hate me.
The name Karen means “Pure” and is of Scandinavian origin.
It reached its peak of popular baby names in 1965, when it was the third most popular name for a girl.
I’ve always liked my name. Growing up, there were scads of Lindas and Debbies and Kathys and Susans in my classes, but I was usually the only Karen.
It wasn’t until my 13-year-old granddaughter showed me a website on Karen memes that I discovered the name Karen is not considered good these days. In fact, the name Karen represents a type of personality that I have never liked . . . a type of person whom I have never acted like. What’s going on here?
- I am a white woman, but I am past middle age.
- On the “Richter Scale of Wealth and Privilege,” I would barely register a 1.0 – if that.
- Remembering that two of my sons were employed in the service industry in their youth, I make it a point to treat service workers with kindness . . . and leave a good tip.
- I have never asked to “speak to the manager.”
- I am not, nor have I ever been racist.
- Since the Covid-19 pandemic, I wear a mask in public.
There are so many politically incorrect names, titles, and descriptions out there that are taboo these days. Use them and political wrath will fall on your head.
But there are two categories that are still wide open for name-calling and ridicule. It is still O.K. to make fun of over-weight people; it is perfectly fine to make fun of Christians. I happen to fall into both those categories.
I am resigned to “Church Lady” jokes and fat lady comments. I just consider the source . . . and the comments fall like water off a duck’s back.
But NOW! People are taking my name in vain! What do I do with that?
To quote William Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Some people think “Karen” stinks!
So, call me one of the popular names of 2020. Call me Emma, Olivia, Abigail, or Harper. Karen (that’s ME) by any other name will still be sweet!
Just ask my grandchildren!
“Nene, why are you always so sweet to me?” – Bennett, six-years-old
“I love you, sweet Nana!” – Jake, nine-years-old
“Nana, you don’t worry about those dumb memes! We know how sweet you are!” – Kate, thirteen-years-old
I rest my case . . .
“A good name is better than precious ointment.” – Ecclesiastes 7:1