The other day someone asked me how I came up with my blog name. And several months ago I wrote a post to explain where I got “chickydoodles” and never posted it, but I’m posting it today, because an inquiring mind wanted to know, and it’s always smart to write for a target audience of one. And also, these past two weeks I’ve been struggling with intense feelings of exhaustion and isolation, so I tried to write about the exhaustion piece of this, but I failed (for obvious reasons).
But anyway, I’d like to believe I’m on the colorful end of the accountant spectrum, but the unfortunate truth is that I’m still on it. So tasks like blog-naming lie outside my realm of capabilities. (I almost didn’t even start a blog because of this.)
What do you name a blog you start in the wake of the loss of your beloved son named Matthew? Letterstomatthew, matthewsmemory, memoriesofmatthew? All valid options, but some of them seemed to box me in, and what if my blog eventually turns away from grief? (Not that it ever would entirely.)
So I tried to think of something that alluded to my blog being about loss (Matthew), rather than just coming right out with it. This idea popped into my head – findingmysparkle. It alludes to loss – like you lost your sparkle somehow. But it’s also positive – like you might have some hope of finding it again. And people just love this sort of optimistic, positive shit.
So I had my blog name… And I could explain it – like, “I lost my sparkle” (and my child and hopes and dreams and so many friends and part of myself), but also, “Here’s to me finding it again,” and everyone would be so freaking inspired. It was perfect.
Until it wasn’t – I tried to register the blog name only to discover someone had taken it. So I researched and actually found several iterations of something similar. So I clicked on a few of them, and most of the sites (I concluded) belonged to deranged teenage girls with poor skills in website design. And though I’m certainly no pro, at least my page isn’t virtually unreadable, complete with pink text and an orange background and creepy, Barbie princess pictures.
So I dumped this idea and did what any independent 30-year-old would do – I called my parents to whine about how I couldn’t think of anything. And they offered some ideas…
My mom suggested incorporating Matthew’s name, possibly via the use of “matters.” I liked where she was going with this, but her ideas were, to be honest, kind of lame. So then my dad thought of two ideas – rawmatters and chickydoodles (explained below).
And I appreciated where he was going with rawmatters, because ideally a blog is, in fact, authentic (raw), and this idea also used “matters” like my mom had suggested. But I associate “raw” with an undercooked piece of meat, or with salmonella. And it also sounds kind of sexual, like my blog would be all 50 Shades of Grey, which it isn’t. Yet.
So I pondered chickydoodles and decided I liked it despite it sounding a bit childish. (I still can’t really say it with a straight face.) But it was my only idea, and I now find it a bit funny that my blog has this happy, childish sounding name yet covers intense, serious subjects and often includes dark humor or adult humor (or dark, adult humor).
And it’s personal to me – my parents called me “chicky” when I was young. (Sometimes they still do.) My dad especially enjoys this – he envisioned me growing up to be a professional basketball player, the announcer shouting, “Chickyyy Marie!” each time I drained a 3-pointer. But old dreams die hard, so he’ll have to settle for second best – “chicky” used in the name of a blog about loss and grief.
And I like “doodles” because it’s a cute synonym for writing.
So I registered chickydoodles without a hitch and thought I was home free, but then my template asked me for my tagline, which I thought I was prepared for, because I’d seen Bravo’s Andy Cohen ask his show guests, “If you were on Real Housewives, what would your tagline be?”
But no. This was so anticlimactic for me. Because I wasn’t (and still am not) in a place to say, “I’m the richest, baddest bitch in this town, and these boobs are 100% real, so my haters can suck it.”
So I thought of something safe – “My journey through life, love, loss, and finding a new normal.” But I almost cringe at the word “journey,” because it’s overused. (I overuse it too.) And also, when I think of journey, I often think of things unrelated to loss like, “my journey back from my heroin addiction relapse after several stints in rehab.”
Thus, I eventually settled on “a weird collection of stories on life, love, loss, and finding a new normal,” which works for now.
So there you go – more than you ever wanted to know about “chickydoodles.”