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Nov '05

Important Principles I Must Teach My Children

And it doesn’t matter that I don’t have any kids yet. I’m still qualified to write about Important Principles I Must Teach Them. It’s the same with baby names. You don’t have to be expecting, or married, or even expecting to be married to pick out fifty different baby names and rank them in decreasing order of preference. People do it all the time, especially in Utah. Most girls already know their top choices for baby names by the time they’ve picked out their ideal engagement ring from the ad inserts in The Daily Universe. Notice that no husband-to-be is required for either selection.

And although I don’t claim to be among the many die-hard Baby Name Pickers, I have seen the list of Utah’s top ten baby names from 2004. Three of my favorites are in the list. Which basically means none of my future kids nor pets nor plants will be named Emma, Emily, or Samantha. I’m pretty sure that Emma’s popularity started to rise after the movie Emma came out in 1996. According to weddingvendors.com, the name Emma rose from #52 in 1996 to #37 in 1997. Which pretty much means that not enough people read these days because the book Emma‘s been around since 1815. A sad, sad commentary on society.

I still like the name Emma, and may possibly be tempted to name a future daughter Emma anyway. But the trick about being married, which many die-hard Baby Name Pickers don’t count on when they’re picking their engagement ring, is that their husband could hate every name they love. I guess that’s what keeps Web sites in business that list top baby names.

Back to my original purpose: Important Principles I Must Teach My Children.
(Based on my experiences during Halloween this year.)


  • For Halloween you will not dress up as a prostitute.
  • When trick-or-treating you will ring each doorbell once. Not twice in a row, or three times, or knock and ring the doorbell twice in a row. Just once.
  • If no one answers the door after one doorbell ring, leave. Do not bang on the door and scream, “Where’s the candy?!”–especially when the porch light is off and the house is dark inside except for a faint light from a room in the back where the family is cringing and hiding and hoping you’ll go away.
  • If someone answers the door, sweetly say, “Trick or treat,” and hold out your bag for the candy-giver to drop a piece into your bag. If the candy-giver offers you the bowl so you can help yourself, take one piece, smile, and say, “Thank you.” Do not ever, under any circumstance, yell, “All right!” and grab handfuls of the stuff and dump them into your bag.
  • Once you turn twelve you will not be allowed to go trick-or-treating. Instead, you will be at home working towards your Eagle Scout Award, listening to reminders from your parents that you shall not ever, under any circumstance, marry into a family whose parents let their daughter dress up as a whore for Halloween.
  • You will eat lots of candy. But only for this one, special day a year. And for Christmas. And Easter. But that’s it. Really.
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