They named it after me! Aw, they shouldn't have. Really, they shouldn't have.
There's something creepy about seeing your name given to a destructive force of nature. Of course there have been Tropical Storms and Hurricanes named Chris at least since 1982. According to reports they were all underachievers. Most of the one-line summaries on these cyclones note that they were not significant. The exception would be TS Chris of 1988 which killed four. Even one death isn't insignificant. I hope that TS Chris of 2006 is like the rest of his unambitious family.
Even so, nobody at the National Hurricane Center asked about using my name. I think of all the women named Katrina who now have to live down the dark connotation of this name. I wonder if they grimace or apologize when they announce that their name is Katrina. It could be something to laugh off except that the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and the political fallout that continues today just isn't funny.
This reminds me of my friends whose birthday is September 11. One time in a prayer group a brother shared how he didn't feel like celebrating on his birthday. This was in 2002 and the anniversary of the dark day was as tense as ever. I urged him to redeem the day. Later a friend, a doctor, told me how the terror attacks of 9/11 focused him. September 11 is his birthday and because his birthday was being remembered as a day of unspeakable violence he was devoting his talents to undoing violence. Last I heard he is involved in research to eliminate the threat of bio-terror attacks. That's redeeming the day.
So I have a word of encouragement for every Camille, Carla, Mitch, Andrew, Katrina, and Rita reading my blog: redeem your name. Don't apologize or make an excuse for your name. You are not a storm! You didn't name that cyclone. I am hoping that my cyclone behaves, but if not I guess I need to redeem the "family name."
A postscript to the National Hurricane Center: I do not intend to support theories of emotional stress caused by using actual names, but I will say you have a potential lawsuit on your hands. In a nation that can sue McDonald's for making you fat, I guarantee at some time you will have a class action lawsuit from everyone with a given name if that storm turns out to be a bad one. Besides that, isn't it time to come up with a more creative naming system? Instead of giving storms names from a baby book, why not come up with your own alphabet code like law-enforcement and military/aviation. You are the National Hurricane Center after all. Wouldn't you like to have some cool names like Tango, Bravo, X-Ray, and Foxtrot? If you did you could also use the letters Q, X, Y, and Z and avoid the embarrassing problem of having to use the Greek alphabet.