Oh, Donna

When I was young, Donna was a quite fashionable name.  “Acceptable” – that was the lofty standard my parents were aiming for.  There were several Donnas in my class and my best friend then was a Donna.

But now the name is rarely given to babies now.

From government statistics I found the rise and fall of the name.  It first appeared in the 1920s ranking #104 for girls.  When I was born in the 1940s, it was up to #17.  Ritchie Valens sang “Donna”  in 1958.  The name peaked in the 1960s at #8.  It sunk to #64 in the 1970s and was never ranked again in the top 200.

So now I have an old fashioned name, like Bertha or Edith or Agatha would have been in my youth.  I hadn’t thought of myself as a Bertha, but that’s what others must hear when I say ‘Donna.’

I’m not at all upset.  I feel it puts me in a group of tough old women, like Flossie Beadle was when I was young.  She was a staunch defender of local history in my little town – I thought she was wonderful.  I’m happy to be in the ranks of Bertha and Flossie.