I was telling a couple of girlfriends that my husband's cousin's second daughter had a baby girl last week, and said I was surprised that she hadn't been named Barbara.
One laughed, suggesting that this was a surprisingly egotistical thing for me to say. But the fact is, Barbaras run amok in my husband's family (as we do most places, being quite a lively bunch) and I was referring to this young woman's grandmother, not to myself.
Actually, there's very little variety in my husband's family. I mean, genetically they're fine -- no intermarriage as far as I can tell. But my MIL's sister, sister-in-law and daughter-in-law are named Barbara (as are her two, unrelated best friends). Her husband, brother and son are all named Richard. (My son once remarked that his dad's a Rick but his grandpa's a Dick. He was too young to know there was anything untoward with that comment, which has become a bit of a family joke.) Her father, brother and nephew are named Thomas. And on it goes.
Another recurring theme is an interest in psychology. My MIL studied it, my SIL and my husband both work in the field, my niece is getting her PhD in neuroscience and my daughter is working toward a PhD in clinical psychology. I suppose I'm the family kook, balancing out the experts.
When I was in college, I took a couple of psychology courses. In one, we could earn extra credit by participating in a grad student's research project, which involved being administered the Rorshach test. You know it, right? It's a psychological test in which perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed. I'm pretty sure I was statistically insignificant (oh, my ego!) because all I saw were rabbits. Well, all I admitted to seeing were rabbits. What I really thought I saw I wouldn't dare repeat to a cute male grad student.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted photos of my impression of a waning moon and early dawn in a Japanese garden. I had appliqued a garden lantern on the lower corner and asked if the legs on it were too long. In response, someone told me the lantern looked like a sumo wrestler from behind, and someone else said it reminded her of Elvis. I'm not certain of the psychology behind those remarks, but it proves that perception is greater -- or perhaps stranger -- than truth.
I had intended all along to applique some cherry blossom-esque flowers around the lantern to reinforce the garden motif. That part's done, although I still have a lot overedging to do, which will make the appliques stand out, and I'm going to sew beads into the centers of the flowers.
So, NOW what do you see?