It’s March of 1973 and a couple is expecting their third child. Deciding on a name in case of another girl proves fruitless (they already have two well-named girls), and mom has been trying to convince dad to name this one after her grandfather (and it’s going over like a lead balloon).
They sit down to watch the show “King Fu”, (about a Buddhist monk in the old west) and Jodie Foster is playing a girl named “Alethea”. Mom slyly sees an opportunity to nickname the baby “Lee” after her grandfather and both parents agree to the name (and hope for a boy).
Having an unusual name has it’s ups and downs. For example:
- I’ve never had to deal with being one of two or three people with the same name in any situation ever.
- In fact I’ve never met another person with my exact name. I’ve seen Aletha’s and Althea’s, but never another Alethea. (Though I know they exist!)
- I’ve never had my name on any item, ever (unless you count “World’s Greatest Mom”.)
- I get nicknamed, whether I want it or not.
- Mispronunciations can be comical. I’ve been called everything from Athena to Ophelia! (It’s pronounced Uh-Lee-Thi-Uh).
- Spelling it every time. Except to the few people who know Greek. In fact clergy always get my name right!
- It’s just about magical when someone gets it right, especially when combined with my last name, which is equally challenging.
- It’s so exotic people ask me what country I’m from. (I’m Dutch/German from Michigan, for what it’s worth).
- I feel loved when people use it preferentially (my husband often does and my dad nearly always).
- I turned out to be just as unusual as my moniker, so it’s utterly apt.