Your Parents Will Never Understand
Alright Rick, let's imagine America really did get into the shit with North Korea. For safety's sake, you grabbed your wife and immigrated to, say, Japan, which, admittedly, wouldn't be the best place considering the situation, but let's run with it. If your kids are born in Japan, are you really going to name them Usagi and Mamoru? No. You'll probably keep the naming customs you'd grown accustom to back home.
From their perspective, my parents have done nothing strange or out of the ordinary. As a young married couple, they fled to this country as refugees and were forced to make a new life here, without knowing the language or customs. That's a difficult thing to do. They struggled through something I can't even fathom, and yet they made it. They survived. To contrast, right before I typed that sentence I almost had a psychological meltdown because the Starbucks barista almost forgot the foam in my latte. Even though my parents can speak English now, giving their children traditional names is for them a bittersweet callback to their past; a way to stay connected to a country they love but may never revisit.
"We brought you here so you can be free. But first, let us shackle you to this insane name."
Imagine having to tell your mom and dad that you had to erase one of the most meaningful gifts they'd given you just so you can get laid. The holiday dinner table arguments would be spectacular. There'd be no survivors.
So where does that leave me? Well, I'm not changing my name. I can only ask the people who encounter the weirdly-named people in their life to just be cool. Being unique is a wonderful thing, but you don't know how much of a relief it might be for someone if you don't point out the thing that stands out the most about them. They might be sensitive to it, so just watch out for it is all. No big deal, right? Cool.
Oh, and never tell me my name is "exotic." Toucans are exotic. I'm not a fucking toucan.
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