Whenever I hear a name I like I share it with Michael in the hopes that he will like it as well and we will name our children whatever fabulous name strikes me. I like names like Matilda, Henry, Simon and Beatrice. Mike does not. Mike tests the names with the question, will our children get beaten up on the playground because of the name? I think that's a lousy test. Our children will be just fine, mmkay? If they are made fun of it will have nothing to do with their names. Their names will be an afterthought when classmates notice the braces and thick glasses. But I digress. One name in particular that I will not let go of is Beatrice. I think Beatrice is a lovely, musical name. It brings to my mind a timeless beauty. Mike does not agree.
My argument for the name Beatrice is pretty much based solely one of my idols- Bea Arthur. People say Beatrice is a name that lacks humor. I point to Bea Arthur. Arthur is best known for her sharp witticisms and one liners and according to Rue McClahanan, Arthur knew how to tell a dirty joke. People say Beatrice is a name that lacks strength and character. I point to Bea Arthur. Arthur didn't achieve television fame until she was 50 years old and before then she was a Tony winning stage actress. And she was one of the first women marines- she volunteered as a medic in WWII. People say Beatrice is a name of a dead era. I point to Bea Arthur. As the eponymous character in her show Maude, Arthur tackled incredibly taboo and progressive subjects on national television such as abortion (her show was the first on prime time television to do so) and as the irascible Dorothy Zbornak on Golden Girls she tackled previously untouched topics like menopause and homosexuality. (She received hate mail for the topics on Maude so the woman had balls.)
I idolize Bea Arthur for all of the above and more. Unlike Designing Women star Dixie Carter, Arthur really supported the same causes as her characters. She rooted for the underdog and why wouldn't she? She was a 5' 10" lounge singer with a scratchy voice who later achieved stardom. She was active with AIDS charities and AIDS awareness. She was a staunch feminist. She believed in equality. She was old. She was just awesome. She's the grandmother I always wanted. May she rest in peace. Bea Arthur, I already miss you.