What’s in a Name?

I’m named after a priest and a saint. And not just any priest, but the one who married my parents. And the saint? None other than the grandmother of Jesus, St. Anne. If this isn’t either (a) pressure to be really, really good or (b) a damn good reason to rebel, I don’t know what is. (In case you’re wondering, I practically wore a halo until college.)

Anne is my middle name because of infertility. You see, it took my parents nine years to have me and it was during those nine years that my mother and grandmother would go out to St. Anne’s Church in San Francisco and attend St. Anne’s novenas. Apparently, St. Anne is the “go-to” gal for women who want to have a child. So, for nine days every year for nine years, my mother and grandmother made the pilgrimage and prayed for a baby. I’ve told my mother that St. Anne must have gotten tired of seeing them and finally had a serious chat with Jesus. I imagine it went something like this:

(sighing and rolling his eyes):
If this is about my hair again. I can’t help it if
hippies like it. I’m not getting a “Beatles” cut.

St. Anne
But you would look so cute! Like Paul! But this
isn’t about that. It’s about a baby for the Reiterman
woman. It’s been nine years and it’s getting depressing.

Well, it sounds like she’s been devout. Have you spied
on her and her family? Are they sane? Loving? Amusing?

St. Anne
Yes, yes and yes. And if they have a girl, they will
name her after a priest and a uh, very special saint.

Oh, really? Let me take a wild guess. You?

St. Anne
Well, I have to take the naming where I can.
It’s not like my own daughter honored me that way.

How could she? I’m the Messiah and a man! Can you imagine
the teasing I would have suffered with a girl’s name?

St. Anne (pouting)

Okay, okay. I’ll put in the requisition. Happy now?

St. Anne
Yes, dear boy. But, really, just a little trim…

In case you’re wondering about my last name, I’ve been told that Reiterman means, “man riding a horse” or a “horseman”. So, in addition to being named for a priest and a saint, I’m descended from a German jockey. That certainly explains why I’m short.

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