tough one

A Mom Wants To Name Her Baby Charles Manson — But It's For Kind Of A Good Reason

The dad is saying there’s absolutely no way.

Originally Published: 
A mom wants to name her new baby after her late brother. But the baby's name would be Charles Manson...
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What happens when your perfect, meaningful baby name also happens to be the name of an infamous cult leader and convicted serial killer? Well, in this case, one parent thinks that they should go ahead and deal with the consequences while the other parent thinks they need to scrap the bad baby name and just choose anything different and save their kiddo from a life of offhand comments and unpleasant associations.

Like any good modern parent, the dad in the situation took to Reddit’s Am I The A—hole? forum to get an official judgement from a jury of his peers.

“My wife Melissa (31F) and I (31M) have been married for 4 years. Melissa is 8 months pregnant with our son. Melissa and I both use my last name (she changed hers to mine legally), as she does not want to be associated with her last name as she has a lot of trouble with her parents,” he begins.

Here’s where the trouble starts.

“Unfortunately, our last name is Manson,” he says, dropping the bomb. “As in Charles Manson. It really sucks but it's what I have. Neither of us have ever had a problem with that until now. A few weeks ago her brother unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack at the age of 35. We were both shocked and devastated. He was a great man who was always healthy, and we were very close to him. Nobody saw it coming. He left behind his wife and three kids.”

Of course, he has the only name in the universe that would be problematic in this case.

“Melissa now wants to name our son after her brother,” he laments. “I would not have any issue with this, if her brother's name wasn't Charles.”

His wife thinks that no one would notice or care that they had a toddler Charlie Manson running around the neighborhood. He thinks that it would affect many facets of his life, even professionally, for his entire life.

“She is calling me an asshole for disrespecting her brother like that. (Note that her brother's last name was not Manson, that is mine and Melissa's last name),” he continued. “So, should I let this go and just name our son after a guy who has been so important in Melissa's life? I really do not want our kid to have to go through life having the same name as a serial killer. Imagine how hard it would be to get a job.”

Well, I honestly didn’t think this would be a tough call, but after hearing how close Melissa was with her brother and what a great guy he was, I can see the struggle. Down in the comments, readers were compassionate about the situation, but clear on what should happen with the baby name.

“You are truly protecting the kid,” reads the most popular comments. “Use Charles as a middle name if you must, or maybe honour her brother using his middle name? A nickname she used to call him?But seriously, don't call your kid Charles Manson. Or after any particularly well-documented serial killer.”

“As this post is showing people clearly still remember the name Charles Manson,” another writes, “and you're setting your kid up for, at best, teasing and at worst having to deal with people thinking he/your family approve of the things that man did.

“Remember you are naming a human who has to live their life, not a walking memorial to your BIL,” another says.

Someone else who has a serial killer name even chimed in.

“I hear something about my name EVERY DAY that I am not in the house and even in my own home at times,” he shares. “I've learned to deal with it since I no longer get overly teased about it as an adult, but it was constant since there are always movies or TV shows surrounding the serial killer as a kid. What I am trying to say is naming a child after a serial killer will definitely get him made fun of, and he will hear about it almost every day of his life. It gets old.”

There you have it. It seems clear that while the mom’s heart is in the right place, the baby needs a name with fewer negative connotations, no matter how amazing his late uncle was. There are other ways to honor and remember him (the brother, not Charles Manson).

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