What’s In A Name

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“When I was a young woman, the girls that put out got to ride in the convertibles.”

Mother said this while she was having her morning coffee on her balcony.

I had not been listening too much.

” Did you hear what I said?” she asked, punching my foot with her foot, her balcony that small and our chairs that close together.

“I never got to ride in a convertible, if that tells you anything,” shes says.


I guess that was the answer to a question I had always wondered. Not.

“It was always the popular girls who were the ones who put out. Is that the way it was when you were a teenager.”

Mercy. She didn’t wait for an answer.

“I wonder what girls get today when they put out.”



Clamydia? HPV?

I don’t say that. And I only briefly wonder where oral sex falls on the 40’s spectrum of ‘putting out’.

“Do you know why I named you ‘Janet’?” she asks.

This seems to be a real question.

“No,” I say.

“Well, it was between Maybian and Janet, because those were the two most popular girls I knew in high school.

Maybian? Is that a real name.

I google it.

Popular in the 40s and 50s, currently on three instances of the name, all in Arkansas.

“Maybian was the