Both of my parents are called by names that begin with the letter "J". When I came along, the deep-rooted Southern tradition of naming children by or after family members still rang true in my family's practices. Neither of my teenaged parents could find the right name for me, and so they chose the next best option: asking my senile great-grandmother Hilda, who still signs her birthday cards with "Mean Ole Grandma," to choose a name for me.
She chose Jenna, for (I've been told) it rings back to our Irish roots. They slapped on the middle name Lynn, paying homage to my great-grandfather Leonard, and on I went as little Jenna Lynn Rich. It's got a pretty nice ring to it.
Six years later, my little brother was born. His "J" name came from one of my preschool playmates, the son of the daycare's director. My parents carried little Jamison home with glee, and I was beyond thrilled to have a new friend to get to know.
It wasn't until about a month later that my mother's best friend, her confidant since childhood, pulled her aside.
"You do realize what you've done to your children," she uttered to my mother as she took her to a computer in the library of their university.
"What are you talking about?" My mother replied, worried that she'd used the wrong kind of bath soap and inadvertently handicapped us for life.
A quick search showed my mother the mistake she had made. Her embarrassment shines bright red even now, during Christmas dinner or during the time of mourning when humorous stories are told about the deceased.
"You named your kids after a porn star, Jenny. Not just a porn star, but the winner of the 1998 AVN Award for Best All-Girl Sex Scene, and, arguably, the most famous porn star of all time."
-Jenna, Boone, NC