Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Right Off the Batt
Which one is the imposter?
When I was growing up, I really disliked my oddball last name: Batt. Other than allowing me to whip across two T’s in one express stroke, “Batt” brought nothing but school days opened with and hemmed in by Batt jokes. By the time I was a senior, I learned to answer clever quips and questions like, “Hey, is that your Battmobile? Is that your Battcape? Is Battman your dad? Do you live in the Battcave?” the way you answer a two year-old’s monotonous questions: “Yes, uh-huh, yep, umm-hmm. You’re so funny.” Or sometimes, I’d enthusiastically chime in, “Yes! And this is my Battpencil, my Battdesk, my Battshoe, Battclassroom and Battschool!” I got pretty tired of “Battworld.”
Lots of people have asked the origin of Batt. Ancestry.com offers this charming possibility: The Batt origin and meaning are not clear, but it is “perhaps akin to batt ‘cudgel’ and so, as a byname, given to a thickset man or a belligerent one.” I guess that would include thickset, belligerent females, as well, which I embody at least once a month.
Like a lot of little girls, I dreamed of Prince Charming. Only along with his shock of dark hair and white teeth, his name would be “Something Smith,” or “Somebody Jones.” Yes, I daydreamed we would seal our love with a K.I.S.S.: Keep Important Surname Simple.
And then . . . strike up the band and drop the confetti . . . I met him. Dark hair, white teeth, athletic, funny, smart, dark skin, very smart, religious, and very, very smart. One problem. His last name was Crow.
Imagine that. I had fought the black, flying object battle my entire life. There was light at the end of the Batt Tunnel. I found “the one,” but Holy Irony, Batman, his name denoted another black flying object.
Moral of this story: God has a sense of humor.
I started writing my column last October. Recently my mom said, “We’re so proud of you, but no one knows that the column-writer is our daughter. Did you ever think about using your maiden name with your married name?”
Come again? “Linda Batt Crow?” It makes me sound like I’m Native American or a character in a Gothic tale who’s a combination of Adam West and Brandon Lee.
Eventually, the Prince and I had three little Crows. I didn’t know whether to read Dr. Spock or Caring for Nestlings. I did read one piece of advice that seemed pretty accurate in the Crow handbook: Before you decide to tackle the job of raising a baby crow, there are a few things you should consider. Baby crows, depending on their stage of growth, will need to be fed every 30 minutes up to every couple of hours from sun up to sun down. Do you have the time to do this?
I have a 17 year-old son. He still still sticks to that same eating schedule, preferably Mexican dishes. His name is Jordan, but having an English major for a mom, he’s lucky he didn’t get named “Edgar Allan Crow.”
I don't mind the name thing anymore. Someday it's going to change again for good--not by legal document or marriage, but by the Lord, who has promised in Revelation 2:17, "I will also give [her] a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to [her] who receives it."
Why is this so exciting? Because a long time ago, God created and then Adam named. Someday, I will hear my Creator Himself say my name, and it will be a perfect fit. Until then, I am content to be the daughter of a Batt and wife of a Crow.
Anyway, it could be worse--I've seen the surname "Butt."