Dear Snarky – Help My Sister & Brother-in-Law Stole My Baby’s Name!

Dear Snarky,

There’s been some really sneaky shit that’s gone down with my brother and sister-in-law and I don’t know how I’m going to be able to ever stand to be in the same room with them.

I have a two-year-old daughter with a very unique name. The name is from an obscure non fiction book about medieval history. Well, come to find out my six month old niece has the exact same name.

I discovered this when I was at her christening last weekend and the minister said the baby’s name. At first I thought I had misheard but when I looked at my husband I knew I hadn’t. His face said it all.

My brother and sister-in-law had up to this point used a nickname for their daughter that in no way reflected her real name. I’m also guessing they were doing this to hide the fact that now there are two girls in the same family circle with the exact same first and last names.

It took everything I had not to call my brother and sister-in-law out right there at the christening but I kept it together and waited until the next day. The whole thing was pathetic. My sister-in-law told me that they “just really loved the name” and since they intend to use a nickname for their daughter they “didn’t see why it mattered.”

I called them out on that B.S. by saying they knew why it mattered because they kept their baby’s name a secret knowing that once it came out it would be a big deal. But, of course, their defense is to tell me I’m “overreacting.”

I’m pretty much done with the both of them and luckily my husband has my back but we live in the same town and I don’t want to live my life avoiding them. Plus, I really love my niece. So, how do I get over this?

Signed, Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

I don’t know if this is going to make you feel any better but this is not the first baby name theft letter I’ve received. It happens girlfriend, it happens.

Deep down I know you’re very hurt not only by the name theft but by the subterfuge. You were lied to for six months. I wonder if and when they were ever going to fess up that their daughter and your daughter have the exact first and last names and live in the same freaking town. At the very least it could prove to be a tad confusing.

Another smaller issue is what’s with family members being so lazy they can’t find another name for their baby? I mean, come on, try harder to find a name you love instead of just saying, “Hmm, I think I’ll use my niece’s name. It’s kind of cool.”

Also, please note that you have every right to be angry but I suggest that after you no longer feel like inflicting physical harm upon your sister and brother-in-law that you come to some kind of agreement. As in that having two girls in the family with the same first and last name probably necessitates that their daughter sticks with a nickname.

I would then take all the love you have for your niece and just let it wash away your anger towards her parents. Yes, they’re shady which means your niece is going to need you in her life.

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