Monday, 9 January 2012

In which I got the Bey-by Blues

So, after several false starts, one possibly prostethic bump and a whole lot of Kelly Rowlandisms later, Beyonce's had her baby. Her Bey-by. Her Destiny's Child. Jay-Z's done a song and everything!

And in true enigmatic megastar style, even the name was confusing to the last.

"She's called Ivy Blue!" "Ooh!"

"No, wait. She's called Blue Ivy."


Naturally it's not my place to cast judgement on someone's choice of name for their offspring - after all, if you've done something as astonishing as grow another human in your uterus then squeeze it through a frankly unaccommodating orifice, you've earned the right to call it whatever you please. You're probably so drugged-up and knackered that you think you love the first word you come across. "We'll call her Pot Plant," you sigh woozily. "Beautiful little Pot Plant Nightstand York Fruits Carter". Mine might end up being called HOORAH IT'S OUT Bravo, when I really think about it.

But all this aside… Beyonce, we really expected better of you. After all, you're one of the most dynamic creative forces of our time. You're the genius who bought us Crazy In Love. You moved booty-shaking into realms previously thought beyond the limits of human capability. You're Sasha Fierce, goshdarnit! And you've given your kid a name that sounds like a dismal affliction on Gardener's Question Time.

Ivy Blue we could have let her have without too much protest. Ivy, of course, fits unexpectedly but pleasantly into the current fad for Great Grandmother names; Ivy, Olive, Edith, Ethel, Ada, etc (Primary school registers in five years will read like a tea dance from the late 80s)*, while Blue as a middle name has just enough bonkers popstar kudos to mark her out from the Normals, and makes it sound a bit like a nursery rhyme character. Little Ivy Blue/ just didn't know what to do/ She wore some bling/ and learned to sing/ and had an album out by the age of two.

But Blue Ivy is wrong on so many counts. It's reminiscent of a comic book villain, or an unfortunate rash. It doesn't scan well,  which for parents who've made a career out of being rhythmic is a proper letdown - everyone knows the second name should have fewer syllables than the first. Blue is apparently Jay-Z's favourite colour, but that's hardly an excuse. My favourite biscuit is a custard cream, but I wouldn't call my daughter it.

Other key associations include Blu Cantrell (she sang that song you hated in 2003) and Blue Daba De Daba Di (that song you hated in 1999). Perhaps they've chosen it as an exercise in reverse psychology, hoping that Blue will go through life relentlessly chipper, while Sunshine Yellow Carter might have been a human version of Eyeore. Perhaps.

But I'll cease whinging now, because we all know that in a few months it'll sound completely normal to us. Like Harper Seven has managed to . Like Girls Aloud did, several months after we all declared it appalling. Like, frankly, 'Beyonce' does now. So I'll shut up and raise a glass to little baby Bue.

It's a WKD though, naturally.

*I must attribute this observation to my Mother, who has sensibly predicted that if name trends carry on at this rate, in ten years we'll have moved onto the Grandmother generation and be calling our kids Pamela, Doris and Joan.

Monday, 2 January 2012

In which 2012 is the year I'm stunningly original

This week, because I like to trailblaze with only truly unique and original column ideas, I am sharing with you my New Year's resolutions.

Stop saying 'amazing'

Far be it from me to whinge about the natural development of language - after all, I've embraced 'totes' with all the enthusiasm of a hungry puppy - but 2012 must be the year that everything stops being amazing.

Some things can still be amazing, of course; childbirth, views from tops of mountains, Katie Price's career trajectory. But it needs to stop being the default word we all reach for. "How's that sandwich, Bob?" "Amazing." "How was your holiday, Susan?" "Amazing." Was it? Was it REALLY? Or was it, in fact, a fairly standard beach vacation during which everybody had the runs? Was the sandwich TRULY awe-striking, or was it a moderately pleasant assembly of bread, cheese, and not-quite-enough-chutney?As well as becoming irksome through overuse, the word's a social error - people don't want to hear that everything you've done has been amazing. They want to hear that it was nice, but the toilet facilities/weather/company were a bit lacking, and then feel better about their own lives.

Instead, I shall reclaim other words. 'Teriffic' might get an outing. 'Brill', perhaps. Who knows, maybe 'rad' will make a comeback. The possibilities are endless, guys! Let's talk more words.

Save money, in a bank

'Investing' in my taxidermy collection does not count.

Go to the dentist

I haven't been to the dentist since the age of *cough*.  That means my teeth have gone unattended for a slightly shocking *cough* years, while I've carried merrily on dousing them in sugar and using them to cut sellotape like a set of invincible person-shears.

I'm not proud of this (I am slightly), but since I stopped being a student, it's taken me a while to get my head around having to pay for dental care. Partly because, in my ignorance, I had always thought 'NHS' meant 'free', but also because it's forking out cash for an experience I will find humiliating, and likely painful. I didn't visit a hairdresser for eight years for precisely the same reason.

However, for several months now one of my top molars has been giving me a bit of gip. Quite a lot of gip. And while I'm fully prepared to make chewing on only one side of my mouth my 'thing', I reckon I should probably get it checked before the whole thing turns black and falls out. If I don't take a sticker at the end, can I get a discount?

Spend my Christmas money on a mattress topper from John Lewis 

Because this is the kind of adult I will be now.

Be a better person
I would tell you in great detail how I plan to achieve this point, but sadly I've reached my word count. So I shall leave it to your imagination instead.