SIX MONTHS (or so) AGO:
Scene: I don't know what the scene is. It's been long enough that I don't remember all the specifics of this particular conversation. But I remember enough. Eric and Charlotte had been married for six months or so, and they are just hanging out, chatting about this and that.
CHARLOTTE(casually): So, who's your celebrity girlfriend?
ERIC (confused): My what?
CHARLOTTE: You know, your celebrity girlfriend.
ERIC (still confused): I have no idea what you're talking about.
CHARLOTTE (incredulously): No way! Really? Well, your celebrity girlfriend is the famous person that makes you think hmmm-mmm-mmm. The one that you go to movies to see, even if the movie is supposed to be lame. You know, the one that if things were different, you wouldn't mind ummm. . . well, investigating the possibilities a bit.
ERIC: Huh. I've never thought about that. I don't know. Why? Who's your celebrity boyfriend?
CHARLOTTE (A little embarrassed): Oh, well, it varies. Usually it's either Ben Affleck or Matt Damon. Of course I think they're both married. Actually, I'm sure Matt is. Not that it matters, 'cause you know, I'm married too.
ERIC (amiably, because Eric is quite comfortable with himself and never gets intimidated if his wife has secret crushes on young hunky movie stars): Oh, right.
* * *
A WEEK OR TWO AFTER THAT
Scene: The basement of Eric's parents house. Charlotte and Eric are down there alone, watching television.
ERIC (suddenly): Hey! There she is! That's my celebrity girlfriend!
CHARLOTTE (trying to identify the woman on the screen): Which one? Who?
ERIC: The one in the center. Beyonce.
CHARLOTTE (feeling somewhat intimidated by the slender, scantily-clad, well-proportioned body on the television set at that particular moment): Beyonce? Your celebrity girlfriend is Beyonce?
ERIC (backtracking a bit): Yeah. But, you know, she's just a celebrity girlfriend. I'm married anyway, you know.
CHARLOTTE (mollified): Oh, yeah, of course.
* * *
LAST THURSDAY NIGHT
Scene: The computer/robot/man room. Eric has been working on the computer and checking out some new 3-D animation/modeling software (interested parties can read about it on his blog if desired). Charlotte comes upstairs to chat with him a bit.
CHARLOTTE: So? How's it going?
ERIC (thrilled to see her, as usual. Does not mind being interrupted in the least): Hey! Pretty good.
Charlotte sits down, and the two of them chat about this and that, the conversation drifting all over the place.
CHARLOTTE: So, I told the world today about your baby name preferences. On my blog I mean.
ERIC: Oh yeah? And what do they think?
CHARLOTTE: I don't know. No one's responded yet. But, my readers are mostly pro-Charlotte, so I imagine if they take sides, they'll side with me.
ERIC (mildly disappointed): Hmm. Hey, what are you thinking about girls names these days? Are you still stuck on Abriana?
(blog readers will not know about this, as I haven't written yet about my newest favorite girl name. It's Abriana. Enough said on this for now)
CHARLOTTE (a bit defensively): Wait a minute! I thought you liked that name.
ERIC (calmly): I do, it's just that it seems a little formal, you know?
CHARLOTTE: Yeah, but you know people will just call her Aubrey anyway.
ERIC (not giving up): I know, but still . . . Abriana? It's just so princess-ey.
CHARLOTTE (seeing her opportunity): Okay! Hold the Phone! Abriana is too princess-ey, but you want to name our child after an elfin queen??? Are you kidding me?
ERIC (smiling good natured-ly, but still not surrendering the battle): Hey man, Arwen is awesome! Really, what little girl wouldn't want to be named after her?
CHARLOTTE (giggling, but more playfully than maliciously): After who? Liv Tyler? Now you know that there is no way that we will name our little girl after Liv Tyler!
ERIC (a faraway look in his eye): Liv Tyler . . . Now that would be cool.
CHARLOTTE (a little nervously): Liv Tyler? What? I thought it was Beyonce or nothing for you.
ERIC (lost in thought): What? Oh, right. Yeah.
* * *
And that my friends, is the latest in the Cantwell name game. I think it's probably safe to say that there are some names which are absolutely not in the realm of possibility for little Baby Cantwell. Among them: Matt, Ben, Damon, Liv, Tyler, and (of course) Beyonce.
Tune in in 4-5 months to see what name we do actually choose for the little tyke/tyke-ette.