I blame Katy Perry. She started this whole “Jeffrey” thing.
Remember her song “Dark Horse”? How could you not! Over the last 18 months it has been on the radio constantly. I don’t mind a good Katy Perry song but I am not a “Dark Horse" fan. I especially dislike the obligatory rap in the middle section. I find these lyrics particularly disturbing- “she’ll eat your heart out, like Jeffrey Dahlmer.” What!?
So whenever that song came on, usually in the car, I turned it down during the rap. This only incited my kids to shout it out none the less. Children live to find creative forms of acceptable parental torture. All of this lead to me being called “Jeffrey”.
My first instinct was to squash this. “I’m not Jeffrey” I protested. This only deepened their commitment. Soon the usage was so prevalent it was causing confusion. Friends would come over and ask “who’s this Jeffrey?” Then I would have to explain it all over again, to the delight of my kids.
At one point, about a year ago, my middle daughter wrote a song celebrating my new name. One lyric really hit the mark- “he’s got a friend, his friend’s not real, who is that? It’s records!” Ouch.
Over time I’ve come to embrace being “Jeffrey.” I feel honored by it somehow.
Here’s the thing, when children are born we get to name them. It’s feels a little god-like to name a person. “Thy name shall be…” But in doing so, these newly minted children give us new names as well- mother, father, mom, dad, etc. So why not let them go a little further, get a little more specific? In my case, they have landed on Jeffrey, I can live with that.