“My three houses in England all have names,” the pompous British lady told the radio interviewer.
“La-de-da” was my first reaction, but soon the snob had my interest. I wish I could have jotted down all the titles she articulated, but since I was driving that was out of the question. I think this is what I heard her rattle off (although I could be wrong): The Old Tweed House, Large Tooth Cottage, and Welsh Corgi by the Wayside.
After 30 minutes of listening, I began to think it quite the quaint custom. By the time I arrived home, I suggested to my husband that we name our house in the tradition of the English.
“Goody,” he said. “We’ll name ours ‘The Money Pit.’”
“You don’t understand,” I asserted, “I want its name to be something utterly British.”
“How about ‘Ye Olde Money Pit’?” he replied.
“It’s not a money pit,” I argued.
“Tell that to the county assessor,” he said.
“It’s also not old,” I argued.
“Look at the roof,” he said, in a tone geared toward the not-too-bright.
“I’m too busy pondering this naming thing to do that,” I said in a snit. “Want to know what conclusions I’ve formed while doing my in-head research?”
“No,” he said.
I’ve never let “no” stop me from telling him something, so I blathered on. “In the United States we don’t name our houses, but several places in our country have the word ‘house’ or ‘home’ attached to their names and they aren’t actual houses.”
“What the heck are you talking about?” he said, completely flummoxed.
“The Waffle House, The Huddle House, and The International House of Pancakes.”
“Now you’ve got me salivating,” he said, looking toward the kitchen. But he stayed put and went on. “In the United States,” he said, “we do have genuine homes with the word ‘house’ in them. We have the White House, Little House on the Prairie, and of course, The Big House.”
“I’d rather you focus on our property.” I said. “And, I don’t know many people who would consider The Big House homey.
“Okay,” he said, “I’ll focus. We can call our place La Casa de Beige.”
“That’s Spanish,” I grumbled. “I thought I made it clear I want it to have an English name.
“Have you been reading Jane Austen again?”
I hadn’t, but I thought his question brilliant. “We can call our place something like Donwell Abbey or Mansfield Park!”
“We live in a suburban development,” he said “where our house looks like every other one and you want to attach ‘abbey’ or ‘park’ to it? Maybe Cookie Cutter Cottage, Vinyl-sided on Avon, or Blimey Beige in the Boonies would be closer to the truth.”
Frustrated, I took a walk outside to ponder further romantic Jane Austen-like names. I came up with Mr. Darcy’s Domicile, Emma’s Estate, or Fanny’s Field of Fragrance, leaving me in a happy British state of mind.
My husband soon joined me, declaring he had some brilliant British-influenced ideas. He also insisted that since we live at the edge of the woods we must take that into consideration. He offered me these three to choose from: Coyote View, Chipmunks Merry Meadows, or, his very favorite, Deer-Dropping Lane.
We now have a sign in front. It reads, Judi & Stan’s House.”