Dear Sean

DEAR SEAN: I’m pregnant. My husband and I have been going back and forth on name options but have no ideas. So right now I have a baby without a name. I know this is a strange request, but can you give me some name suggestions? I don’t want one of those modern names. Thanks,…

Dear Sean

My real first name is Marguerite. Imagine you’re a kid saddled with a name nobody, young or old, can freaking spell. Not many had even heard of my great-aunt, Marguerite Hall, who was a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, one of Teddy’s “gang” and a William Jennings Bryant cohort as an ambassador. I didn’t feel that this connection was all that important. Who knew??

My middle name was Helen. My mother, grandmother, and several cousins shared this name. I thought, at the time, that was too many in the first and second generation. In the ’60s, I was too hip for that.

In 1967, I decided two things. I was going to be a hippie, and I was going to choose my own name. Why Maggie? It was a logical derivative, portrayed my Scottish heritage, and was acutely easy to spell.

I changed my entire name legally to Maggie Stewart-Grant later. In a way, I found a resource, through legal means, to finally develop who I came to be.

It’s all about the pursuit of happiness. In my case, it’s a long, long story.