Self-obsessed parents-to-be have one more thing to worry about: What to name the little testament to themselves once Mommy poops it out. You don't want your little angel to be like every other Madison in her class. The solution? Baby-naming consultants.
Last fall, John Bentham, 36, a Las Vegas theater producer, and his wife, Shannon, 29, who runs a nonprofit foundation, says they felt "enormous pressure" to find a strong-sounding boy name. "I wanted a name that would look good on a marquee or a political banner," Mrs. Bentham says. Though they had agreed on the letter "j," none of the names they came up with — Jude, Julian, Jake, Jason, or John Jr. — seemed original enough. They hired Ms. Walker and Mr. Reyes, who produced an 11-page list of possibilities, including Jackson. In March, the Benthams welcomed little Jackson Dean into the world.
Walker and Reyes are a couple who offer "name consultations and workshops," and charge you fifty dollars a pop to help make sure that your Paolo isn't some pedestrian Paul. One California woman dropped nearly $500 to have a numerologist make sure the name she chose had "positive associations." Parents of America, we implore you: Save your money for the nursing home you're going to need when your offspring, bitter about a lifetime of "Anderson"ness, refuses to take you in during your declining years.