In the name game, just who are you?


First let me make clear, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger has nose hairs older than I am.

I mention it only because it pays to watch your back since former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman threatened a journalist with legal action because the writer shares the same name as the musician.

The star’s lawyers have ordered the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter, also named Bill Wyman (and proudly so, since his birth in 1961) to “cease and desist” writing under his given name.

Never mind that “the” Bill Wyman (of Rolling Stone fame) didn’t change HIS name to “Bill Wyman” until 1965. Apparently having called it first only works in grade school.

Lawyers for “the” Bill Wyman said the “other” Bill could only use his given name if he added a disclaimer to everything he wrote “clearly indicating that (you are) not the same Bill Wyman who was a member the Rolling Stones.”

Me, myself, the other guy. Talk about getting no “Satisfaction.”

I can’t imagine what it does to a person’s self-esteem to continually have to state that he is not “the” Bill Wyman but, disappointingly, just himself.

It kind of colors my pride at the question of whether I am “the” Kymberly Seabolt? “Perhaps,” I should reply cagily, “who wants to know?”

In case there is another more impressive and wildly successful Kymberly Seabolt out there, just waiting to sue me if given half a chance.

Name game. So what’s in a name? Maybe we should all take a page from the Wyman legal book and assign ourselves names at random.

Having spent many years trying (in vain) to convince various credit reporting agencies that my husband, Michael Jr., and his father, Michael Sr. are not, in fact, the exact SAME Michael just trying to pull a fast one on Equifax, I’m all for this.

In the throes of the credit nightmare that was Seabolt/Seabolt of a few years back, I threatened with clenched teeth to clear the whole matter up in minutes by christening my husband “Pete” instead.

“Pete” would have been my first choice because we are not, as we like to say, a “trendy” people.

When choosing the name for our firstborn child we knew there would be no “Skylark Moon” or “Ravyn Blue” in this bunch. No Wyatts, Dakotas, or Chase.

Classic names. When expecting, we ran through the gamut of plain, classic names.

We hadn’t seen any “Matthews” around lately, surely this was a name we could safely give a child without risk of his becoming one of six Matthews in a kindergarten class?

I think something happens to a child who spends his formative years under the cloud of being “Hunter S. number three” or “Taylor two.”

The baby books, however, were chock full of Jordans, Ashleys, (and Ashleighes, Ashleyes, and Ashalieyes). Not to mention the Justins, Morgans, and Reeses.

Fine names all, but where have all the Todds and Lisas gone?

When I was growing up in the 1970’s you couldn’t swing a school yearbook without smacking a Jennifer, Lisa, Steve, Todd or Mark.

Must I face the reality that the names of my childhood have become a generational barometer in the same manner that you never hear of a 20-year-old “Dolores” or 16-year-old “Gert?”

In the future will “Lisa” be considered an “old lady” name? I feel faint.

Less than “the.” We can only hope and pray that “the” Bill Wyman’s lawyers don’t represent pop singer Madonna next. We can only shudder to imagine what it might do to the celebrity’s self-image to discover she isn’t “the” Madonna after all.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt thinks, but cannot prove, that she is “the” one. She welcomes reader mail c/o P.O. Box 39, Salem, Ohio 44460 or


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.