I was born in 1975. My parents were fairly certain that I was going to be an “Abby Michelle” or “Michelle Abby” but at the last minute, “Jennifer Allison” won out.
I think this must have been happening all around the country because in 1975, it is statistically proven that 99.7% of all baby girls were named Jennifer.*
*That statistic was conveniently procured & created by me, about one minute ago, but my art-school math is solid when it comes to being very exact and scientific about things. I would like to credit the Pulitzer prize winning, new york times bestselling, smash hit, naming book of 1988 titled “Beyond Jennifer & Jason: The new Englightened Guide To Naming Your Baby” for my bold assessment. Also, I should just note, that my brother’s name is Jason. I tell no lies!
At any rate, I was Jennifer Allison White, until I married Brad Topliff, and became Jennifer White Topliff. Unfortunately my new last name offers it’s own set of challenges (I get mail to Jenn Topliss every day, no matter how many times I say “f as in frank, f as in frank”) but I’m still stuck with Jennifer.
I’m getting to the point, I promise!
Being that I was not the only Jennifer in my class/grade/school, I was one of those kids who was always referred to by both her first and last name. I was never just “Jenn” or “Jenny”. If I called someone and told them it was Jenn or Jenny on the line, they’d likely have to think for 17 minutes about all the Jenns, and Jennys they knew, to figure out which one I was. So my whole life I was always either “Jenn White” or “Jenny White”.
When you go to Starbucks, and order a drink, they ask you for your first name to put on the cup. This is to avoid having to call out “Double Tall Soy 1-Splenda Latte” at the top of their lungs. Instead, they call out your (likely short) name and you know your drink is ready and the day can proceed! However, when you are at Starbucks, and someone puts a coffee drink on the bar and calls out “Jenn, your drink is ready” – do you know what happens? It’s like the running of the bulls in Italy… 1,453 Jenn’s rush the espresso bar and try to pick up the same drink. I kid you not. It’s hard to get out of that fight unscathed, and with your espresso drink in tact.
So, my good friend Matt once suggested that I pick “a Starbucks name”. His criteria for this name was:
a) it had to be easily identifiable
b) it had to be unique
c) and most importantly, it had to be easy to say & spell for the person taking the drink order
It didn’t take long for me & Matt to agree that “Lincoln” was the perfect Starbucks name for me.
For one, it was my dog’s name (who I love and adore) and if someone called out “Lincoln” I was already used to turning around, assuming they were talking to me. So I wasn’t going to stand idly by, while the barista at Starbucks called “Lincoln” over and over again, not realizing he was talking to me! Secondly, the name Lincoln isn’t too common – so running into multiple Lincolns inline for coffee was probably not going to be an issue. Thirdly, and most importantly, Matt said… “everyone knows how to spell Lincoln because he was the President”. It was beautiful and logical and from that moment on I became “Lincoln” every time I ordered my coffee, or needed to give a name to a lunch order, takeout meal, etc.
Matt was right about almost everything… the name is awesome, unique and I never have to compete with anyone else for my drinks. But I always laugh my pants off when someone at Starbucks writes my name as they do below – which SOOOO SADLY happens more frequently that you’d imagine!