"Kevin asked me what I would name myself if I could, and with a lot of thought I decided on the name Kate. Not Katie or Katherine, just Kate. I think the name Kate is simple and romantic and the last name really takes center stage on a name like Kate, making it timeless."
According to Dale Carnegie, everyone's favorite word is his or her own name. I've always loved my name but have never known if this was because my name was especially pretty or just because it was mine.
The older I get, however, the more I think that my name is especially pretty.
I feel like this is evidenced by the fact that I have never wanted to change it.
Even on days when I have wanted to change my hair, my skin, my height, my weight, my voice, or my nose, I have never wanted to change my name. And I've always relished the fact that my name lacks that game-changing i.
Katie? People ask. No, just Kate.
I want to put it on a résumé.
All this reminds me of something I wrote for a class my senior year of high school. Here's an excerpt:
"My name has given me something to live up to. Kate, after all, means pure. But when I think Kate, I think of actresses like Kate Hepburn and authors like Kate Chopin. Kate is the name that provoked Shakespeare to say, “For dainties are all Kates” and Ben Folds to say, quite simply, “I wanna be Kate.” I consider Kate to be such a versatile name. I can wear Kate with heels, and I can wear Kate with sneakers. Kate can be classy, and Kate can be comfy. Kate can multitask. Certainly, in saying that Kate is and does all these things, I do not mean to imply that this Kate is as perfectly capable as her name. But Kate does set a high standard for me."
Perhaps I seem vain for writing a blog devoted entirely to my own name, but I don't mean to take any credit for the name. I did not pick it.
Kate preceded me, really.
You may remember hearing that the Seine River flooded a few months ago. Because of this, the Musée de Louvre was closed during our first few days in Paris, which meant we couldn’t visit it until our last full day in the city.
Before hitting the museum, Marie and Taylor and I started the day with pastries again because Paris. (White bread is basically protein there.) We took the metro to the Louvre and met up with our friend James at an adjacent Starbucks. (This would be our real fuel for the day.) James was one of our good friends from Asbury and just happened to be in Paris briefly after touring Turkey and Iraq and Italy and I can’t even remember where else. (Let’s just say he got questioned at U.S. Customs when he returned.) It was perfect timing to meet up with him.
Not six hours after we’d crawled into bed following a day in Versailles, we rose again to continue exploring Europe. My sadness over our abbreviated night of sleep was lessened by the fact that we were GOING TO LONDON, the city I’d always most wanted to see. We got ready groggily and walked through mental and literal fog to the metro, which we took to the train station. For some reason I’d been worried, yet again, that we would be stopped attempting to move from country to country (because we look so menacing and everything). But after getting our passports stamped without a hitch, we arrived at our Chunnel train with seven minutes to spare.
Our first stop Monday morning was Rue Crémieux, which is a whole road lined with pastel houses. We went just to marvel at its cuteness. It looks like Instagram and Anthropologie had a street together. I imagine its homes are inhabited by life-size Polly Pockets who keep My Little Ponies as pets.
After admiring (and maybe envying) the colorful homes, we made our way to Place des Vosges, which is cute but in a different way. It is the oldest planned square in Europe and was also once the home of Victor Hugo. (Going to France really made me want to re-watch — maybe even read!?!? — Les Mis.) Place des Vosges, as far as I can tell, is like the 17th-century version of a subdivision. Not only were the houses perfectly symmetrical, but the trees were trimmed into rectangles. There was something very Alice-in-Wonderland about it.
Paris, I was surprised to find, is much like the cartoons portray it. For instance, in the week we were there, I repeatedly saw men playing accordions on street corners. (I know, right?) In these moments, it felt as though Paris was caricaturing itself.
If you thought (like I did) that the cute little Parisian pastry shops were just a cartoon stereotype of the city, you’d be wrong. There’s a boulangerie (bakery) and a pâtisserie (pastry shop) on practically every block of the city. Pastry shops are to Paris what Walgreens are to Chicago.