Of all the stories that I’ve shared on this blog, it dawned on me that I have not shared the origin of Baby Garrett’s name. I was thinking about it while reading an article from Dr. Lisa Quick. As she points out – one of the common themes in choosing a baby’s name is, “How will it affect the outcome of their lives?” Is Little ‘Moshe’ destined for life as a Rabbi? Will ‘Sheldon’ only be good at accounting? I think GWE and I were partially relieved to discover that we were not having a girl because it saved us from having to judge possible girl’s name by their “Stripper Potential.”
“Please welcome to the stage….Bambi!” No. “Please welcome to the stage…Tiffany!” No. “Please welcome to the stage…Selma!” Maybe!
GWE and I began tossing around potential names the evening we found out we were having a boy. Many of the names we liked when we were choosing Justin’s name no longer seemed to be in the running. We had a few new choices, but nothing we were married to.
Then, last May, GWE and I were in Atlanta visiting family. It was a stressful week because it happened to be the same week all of the networks were deciding which television pilots to pick up. I had booked only one pilot that year and I was in a panic. The client was Garrett Morris and the show was a small, unknown ½ hour pilot called, “Two Broke Girls.” On the night of my parents’ anniversary dinner, we were driving back to their house when Garrett called to check in. While on speakerphone, in front of my parents, wife, sister, and soon to be brother-in-law, I informed Garrett (jokingly) that if this show got picked up – I was going to name our unborn baby after him. We all laughed about it.
Later that night, GWE turned to me and said, “That’s not a bad idea.” I asked her what she was talking about. “Garrett,” she said. “I like the name Garrett.” The next afternoon we found out that “Two Broke Girls” was picked up.
As the months leading up to Garrett’s birth passed, we continued to contemplate names. Some stayed on the list, but many came off. “Garrett” remained the entire time. Typically, in the Jewish faith, you name your child after a relative who has passed on. And while we were certain that we would do this with his Jewish name, we were seriously considering going against tradition and not only naming him after a person who was not a family member…but, someone who was still alive!
At some point as a parent, you are faced with actually making a final decision about the name of your child. And, I had to seriously think about it. Were we really about to name our child after Garrett Morris? Seriously?? The “Base-ball been berry, berry good to me” guy?? As I thought about it, I realized that this was a man who had been my friend and someone who stood by me at a time when many would not. This was also a client who had enough faith in my professional guidance and my career to convince me to come back to a business that seemed like it didn’t want me. Garrett had shown me friendship, loyalty, and trust. These are the qualities I wanted our son to have. And so the decision was made – “Garrett” would be the name for our son.
Now, there is a part of the story that GWE did not know until right now. (Sorry, hon.) Since I’m putting this story in writing, I wanted it to be accurate…..so, the following is true. Three weeks before “Little” Garrett was born, I told “Big Garrett” about the baby’s name. We were backstage at a taping of his show and as I was leaving, I turned to Garrett and told him that I would see him next week. He replied, “You mean the week after. We’re on hiatus next week.” At that moment, it dawned on me that there was a possibility I might not see him until after the birth. And…to tell someone you just named a child after them seemed too important to do over the phone. I took a moment and made a judgment call. I then asked him if I could talk to him in his dressing room for a moment. He looked concerned and let me in. And then….I just said it – “Garrett – GWE and I love you, you’re important to us, and we’re naming this baby after you.” At that moment, I saw him turn white, stare at me for a moment in disbelief, and then reply, “Holy Shit!” We talked for a few moments about it and then I swore him to secrecy. I asked him to please act surprised when GWE and I called to tell him the good news. He did!
There is one more funny part to this story. Just as we had with Justin, we refused to tell anyone the name before the actual birth. However, we did tell MOGWE (Mother of Greatest Wife Ever) and FOGWE (Father of Greatest Wife Ever) that the name began with “G”. We would never acknowledge if they were correct, but they were allowed to throw out names to gauge our responses. For weeks, they would ask us about every “g” name in the book. We politely smiled and moved on to another subject. On the Sunday before Garrett’s birth, MOGWE and I were sitting on the sofa and she turned to me and said, “I know you didn’t name him after a 74 year old comedian.” I smiled back and said, “Of course not!” All the while, I was laughing to myself while thinking – “Well, you’re in for a big surprise!!”
And that is the origin of “Garrett.”