My siblings took great joy in sending me texts about Hurricane Laura as the storm grew to monstrous proportions and then sent southern states like Louisiana to the hurt locker. My brother John, in particular, sent sympathetic messages to my husband (copying everyone) saying that Rob knew what the wrath of this particular hurricane felt like. I was actually more relieved than usual when the storm caused less damage, a lower storm surge and a smaller death toll than was predicted. I don't know how Katrinas feel these days but it can't be pleasant to have your name tied to a horrific, record-breaking tragedy.
Which brings me to our family angst over the "Karen" memes because - you guessed it - my younger sister's name is Karen. Our brother James loves to tease her with the latest accusations hurled at Karens, while purporting horror at the damage done to her name. My sister takes it all with a grain of salt, but again, it's not really cool to tie such a burden to the names of innocents.
Next on the list of names to be abused is the nickname of my beloved mother, who has thirteen grandchildren to her name - that's right, tropical storm Nana could be making it's way to a coastal area near you. As my mother said, "What are we coming to?" when forecasters could bestow a grandmotherly moniker on a potentially wrathful storm.
I don't know what we're coming to, but I wish I had the strength of a benevolent hurricane and could flatten obstacles in my path. I was strangely, oddly relieved when Marco was the storm to falter and fall apart while Laura was the storm to gain strength - I didn't want any people to suffer because of my namesake but I envied her power (which I would use for good, of course). I would blow the coronavirus into space, clear out air pollution from the Western wildfires, dampen the fires themselves, and at least temporarily restore some cool temperatures to the states burning up in the dog days of summer.
We all look to the powerful people and movements that are attached to our names and sometimes wish we shared that power. That we could attach only good affect and energy to ourselves and separate ourselves from the bad. But that's not true in real life or in fantasy, and we'll try to accept both good and bad with self-deprecating charm and a little humor. And for now we'll just keep a weather eye on Nana.