Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jennifer Convertibles

I googled "Jennifer."  Google told me  esults 1 - 10 of about 140,000,000 for jennifer.  I wasn't surprised.

The first listing for "Jennifer" is "Jennifer Convertibles."  I wondered how much they had to pay Google in order for it to be the first of 140,000,000... (websites for Jennifer O'Neill and Jennifer Lopez are next)

I have never shopped at Jennifer Convertibles, but I've always liked the idea of buying furniture from the store.  I can imagine a hilarious (well, to me) dinner conversation.  Imagine the confusion, especially if you had a dinner party with 5 people named Jennifer and an unlucky Other Dude:

Other Dude:  Hey, Jen!  (Five people answer.)  Uh, I meant Jen the host.  Jen K.  You are a fabulous cook and you look fabulous and you are fabulous.

Jen:  Thanks.

Other Dude:  And, hey!  Jen, what a new fabulous couch.  Where did you get it?

Jen:  Jennifer. (4 people answer, what?)

Other Dude:  What?  Oh, sorry.  Do you prefer to be called Jennifer and not Jen?

Jen:  Oh.  No. I was talking about the...

Other Dude:  There are so many people named Jennifer I can never remember.  Some like Jen, others like Jenny, you know.  Whatever.  They just respond to whatever I call them.  You know?  Well, about the couch.  Where did you get it?  I've been looking for something like that for my basement.

Jen:  Jennifer. (4 people answer, what?)

And so on... they should do a Saturday Night Live skit...

Hope you've enjoyed your weekend.

Remember:  if you are a Jennifer, Jenny, Jennie, Jenn, Jen, we'd love to hear your story.  Share your story on The Jennifer Project website.  You can send it to:


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jennifer Jones (March 2, 1919 – December 17, 2009)

Many Jennifers I have met were named after famed actress Jennifer Jones.  Jones won an Oscar in 1944 for her performance in "The Song of Bernadette."  She passed away in December 2009.

For some reason, I have been thinking about her today.

I found her obituary in The New York Times to be a bit sad; most of it discusses her "tumultous personal life" rather than showcasing her artistic or social contributions.  And, the obituary fails to highlighting the fact that she influenced tens of thousands of people to name their children after her.

A link to The New York Times obituary is below.  Rest in Peace, Jennifer Jones.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baby Name Wizard

I wonder if there is an iPhone app you can use to name your child.  Maybe one day there will be some sort of ultra-soundish kind of thing that you can plop on the mother's stomach and the app will "read" the vibrations and tell you what your child's name should be.

Until then, there's the Baby Name Wizard.

Their Jennifer page is pretty interesting, actually.  I loved reading the comments of other Jennifer (check it out) and some of the statistics were fascinating, too.  I just wondered where they got all their information...

Check it out.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What would my name be?

My mother once told me that when I was born she couldn't figure out what to name me.  I like to think that the Naming of Me was a big deal filled with amazing rituals and rattles and all sorts of crap, but they probably just saw a magazine with Jennifer O'Neill's picture and then that was it.

At some point, I vaguely remember my mother telling me that Bill Cosby had something to do with my name, but the story is foggy and my mother denies she ever said anything about it.  I must have dreamed it after watching a Cosby Show marathon.  I'm sure there were dancing sweaters in there, too.

So, for some reason I was thinking about the origin of my name today, and thought -- what if I had been named something else?

Would my life have been different?  Would yours?  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

An Iowan named Jennifer

I live in Ankeny Iowa.

I think this is a great idea. Jennifer was the most common girl's name for the year I was born, 1974.

There were 12 Jennifers in my grade at East Elementary, where they had three classes for each grade. So every year, every class had at least 4 Jennifers. At least no one ever made fun of our name!

So we were identified by the initials of our last names: Jennifer W., Jennifer L., Jenny S., Jenny R., etc.

My mom decided to "mix it up" and dropped one of the n's in my name, so I became "Jenifer With One N"

Other Jennifers I met through the years took more drastic measures. I knew a "Jynnifer" and a "Jennipher."

As annoying as it was to always have your name misspelled, it ended up being to my benefit. In college, there was another student with the same first, middle, and last name as myself. She said that she had some difficulties with credit and other official records due to so many people having the same name. My single "n" helped me avoid those issues.

I went by "Jeni" until I got married. My first husband's paternal grandmother was also named Jenny (not short for Jennifer, just Jenny), so I switched to Jenifer.

To this day, people who knew me before I got married call me "Jeni" and more recent acquaintances call me Jenifer. Jen is o.k., too.

I swore I would never give my children common names, but I have 3 girls and I was running out of ideas. Yes, one of my daughters is named "Emily," the most common girl's name for her birth year, 1999 (her twin is Leah). It has not been as much of an issue for her though, especially since there has never been more than one other Emily in her class.

New parents are more creative with names now, and there are more to choose from. With more diversity, I don't think kids even make fun of names like they used to. My father, in his 70's, was very concerned with the name I chose for my youngest, "Alyse" (pronounced like Elise but spelled much cooler). He said the kids would make fun of her, chanting "Alyse, A-Lice, A-Louse" (as in head lice). Thankfully (I think) kids are more creative about what they make fun of now.

Another Seattle Jennifer

I am a 32-year-old caucasian Jennifer who lives here in Seattle with my husband of 12 years, 3 kids and our family dog. I am a clinical research associate with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where I run clinical trials for a type of therapy known as Gene Therapy, which is used in the context of stem cell (bone marrow) transplants to treat cancer and other genetic diseases. I grew up in the midwest and have lived all over the continental U.S. I frequently travel to Brazil and other countries to bring our therapy and clinical trials to underserved populations that have higher frequencies of certain genetic diseases than we do here in the U.S.

I have such pride in being a "jen". My middle name is Eileen and my maiden name was N***, so my initials, until I was married, were J.E.N. (thanks mom).

A Jennifer in Washington State

OK, this is very cool.... My friend sent me a link to your blog. I am a Jennifer, age 35. I left Seattle about a year ago and moved to Lyle, WA (near Hood River in the beautiful Columbia Gorge) - about 4.5 hours from Seattle. I am a redhead. I related to every word you wrote:

"There were something like 15 Jennifer's in my graduating class,and 5 other co-workers right now that share the same name. I find myself turning my head to the sound of Jennifer a lot, and I find it insanely entertaining when the Jennifer in my row, and the Jennifer across the room do the same thing. We all smile accordingly, appreciating the bond we share.
I don't remember disliking my name, just the fact that it is so normal. I grew up being the oddball, the outcast, the child that nobody understood. The art freak. The rebel. My name just didn't fit my personality at all. But as the years went on, I became increasingly more "normal" and I grew into my name. The fact that I'm a redhead has been my only saving grace in this world of endless Jennifer's; it helps keep me original and unique."

At first glance with no more depth added, we are twins: red-headed Jennifers who stuck out as odd balls, found a haven in art as kids, grew into our names, and share the bond of our generation who harbor many who turn their heads to that name.

I am happy to participate in the Jennifer project in some way - what fun. I really liked your website. Here's mine (you can catch a photo of me there)-

Ok, so I disappeared for awhile...

Hi folks,

It's been about 5 months since I last posted to The Jennifer Project.  Because of two recent trips to Africa and some challenging health issues, it was necessary for me to take a break from the project.

But, do not despair!  The Jennifer Project has not died -- it was just hibernating for the winter.

The project is still kicking, my Jennifer loving friends! I'm in the process of responding to the many emails I've received from Jennifers over the months, and will be scheduling Jennifer photo shoots in Seattle starting again soon.

I am hoping to finish the exhibit sometime in 2010.  

SO... If you are a Jennifer or you know a Jennifer and you are interested in participating in the project, please send me an email:

I appreciate your support and your patience. Thank you very much!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Jennifer K.