There’s a whole helluva lot in a name

How we named this blog speaks a lot to why we get along as co-parents so much better than we do as spouses. As you can tell from her suggestions, Moxie prefers a very blunt, no-nonsense approach to things. This is why her site has been such a success, and why, when our 10-year-old asks what a clitoris is, she can describe it as impassively as if she were listing instructions for building an IKEA bookshelf.

My writing, conversely, is more narrative and painstakingly agonized over crafted. And yes, I like obscure cultural references. I like bands with names like BR 549 and Toad the Wet Sprocket. I like puns and turns of phrase and other yes-nonsense that she usually just shrugs off. This may shed light on why she remembers my suggestion as “Pooping in the Enameled Tub,” because if something I say doesn’t register immediately, she mentally files it under Crap.

My favorite name was actually “Dogs in the Bathtub,” which I thought of while we were estranged but still living together in our not-large Manhattan apartment. If you’ve ever washed a small, easily vexed dog, you know how they can tend to get agitated and leap out, but their claws’ complete lack of traction against the porcelain makes the whole effort futile. Imagine two in the same tub, threatened by each other and yapping at each other’s tails, running around in clumsy ovals and ultimately getting nowhere. That was us.

I like “When The Flames Go Up” very much (and not just because the band spends most of the video performing perilously close to the edge of a cliff). The song’s title and anthemic melody have always felt life-affirming. And as she said, I got it as soon as she suggested it.

That little spark of commonality is a nice allegory for the blog itself, a little stronghold in the ever-shrinking overlap of our personalities’ Venn diagram.

That’s the best chance we have to make this bathtub confinement as pleasant as possible, especially for the pups.