She's one of my dear friends from college, and she just started a job back here in the town where we went to school (University of Alabama, and it must be said - Roll Tide!). While she's looking for an apartment, she'll be staying with us.
Kristen and I have had a long-standing faux battle about which is the proper way to spell our name. People often assume mine is spelled Kristen, as if Kristen is the more common and popular way to spell it and I'm just weird for spelling mine the "other" way.
A look at the Social Security Administration name website shows that in 1980, the year Kristen was born, Kristin ranked 37 while Kristen ranked 39, and in 1981, the year I was born, Kristin ranked 31 while Kristen ranked 38. So Kristin outranked Kristen both years.
However, the Name Voyager (the coolest tool in the world if you are obsessed with names like I am) says that Kristen achieved a higher rank overall at its peak time (in the '80s, naturally) than Kristin. In the end, more kids were named Kristen.
Still, a massive number of kids were named Kristin. So how did Kristen get to be the default?
As you can see, it's a battle neither of us ever wins. So Kristen and I came to a compromise. When referring to the pair of us, we are Kristein. This came from the name we chose for our team once during intramural bowling. Yes, we were actually on a bowling team for a brief time freshman year in college. I believe we came in last place. We were no match for the team from the Catholic Church - those girls were serious about bowling.
Anyway, with two women named Kristein around, things can get confusing. Especially if you live in the South, where the two names are pronounced identically. And especially if you both have the same last initial (or did before I got married).
I usually refer to Kristen by her full name, even though surely no one is confused about who I'm talking about. Also, she dislikes being called by her full name, so I enjoy it for that reason.
Regardless of her name, you might think that having a houseguest around will slow down the slight momentum we've finally built up. But no! I'm determined that work will continue while she's in residence.
Fortunately, I found out last night that she's interested in home improvement. She actually asked me to invite her to help when we're ready to tile the kitchen countertops. Now this is the kind of friend I need to keep around!
I might enlist her help to scrape the clawfoot tub tomorrow night, though I hate to inflict toxic fumes on a guest.
Other good news - Kristen now owes us one, which means we can count on her to check on our cats when we go to Italy in the fall. She has two eccentric cats of her own (aren't they all?), so she knows just how to handle our little devils. Besides, they don't hate her as much as they do most people.
This means I can now actually book the trip to Italy. I'm nervous because that's a lot of money, but excited because I think it will be worth it. My plan was to go to Venice, but now Kristen says Florence is much better. She loved it and wants to go back one day. That's a pretty strong endorsement from someone whose opinion I value. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. I guess we could do both, though I am more of a stay-in-one-city kind of traveler.
Anybody been to Florence and Venice?