Where Have All the Gregorys Gone?
I was folded forward this morning during yoga, in the middle of eka pada rajakapotasana, when it occurred to me that there was no one in the twins’ class named Greg. Greg used to be enormously popular when I was in school. Every class had “a Greg and a spare,” as I liked to say. Actually, I never said that until today, but you immediately see the truth in the clunky phrase.
Josh looked it up for me. (This is the benefit of doing yoga in your living room while your partner makes the school lunches. You can call out the random things you think up from the mat, and he can Google them.) Greg has not broken the top 1000 most popular names in the last twenty years.
The same with Melissa. Every class had at least a dozen Melissas. I may have inflated that number a bit, but Melissa was a very common name where I grew up. And now it’s as if the Melissas have all scattered into holes in the baseboard, never to be seen again. I meet Jennifers and Jessicas all the time, but all the Melissas have seemingly disappeared. I can’t remember the last time I met a Melissa, even one my age.
I get that names go in and out of vogue. The people who make those name pencils and name necklaces need a little variety in their world. (I assume those are the people who decide the popularity of names because they have the ultimate power as they choose which names to etch onto shot glasses and which names to leave in the dust.)
But shouldn’t the people who had that name back in childhood still be around? I used to know 3000 Melissas. (Again, that number may be a little smaller.) Now I know zero. Well, I know one. Myself. I am cognizant of my own existence.
Where have all the Gregorys gone? All the Melissas? Where are the Coreys and Bretts and Cynthias? Where did the Candices run and hide when the 80s ended?
I’m starting an Ex-Popular Name Club. Are you in it?