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She Named Her Son After a Cherished Irish Tradition, But When Her Friend Heard It, Their Bond Was Threatened Like Never Before.

In a tale of friendship tested by cultural boundaries and personal desires, the Original Poster (OP), an American, faces unexpected backlash after choosing a traditional Irish name for her son, deeply offending her closest Irish friend. As OP anticipates her friend’s joy at the intended tribute, the atmosphere takes a sharp turn, plunging them both into a whirlwind of emotions and severed communication. Yet, beneath the surface conflict, deeper issues of identity, cultural appropriation, and the profound significance of names emerge, leaving the future of their bond hanging in the balance.

The American and the Irish

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OP and her close friend, an Irish woman, met in college. Their bond deepened over the years, with the Irish friend even being a bridesmaid at OP’s wedding. They dreamed of their future children becoming pen pals.

A Dream Shattered

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The Irish friend discovered she couldn’t have kids naturally, a devastating blow given her dreams. However, she held onto hope, deciding she’d adopt when ready. Meanwhile, OP excitedly found out she was pregnant.

Celebrations on Hold

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The global pandemic kept the Irish friend from attending the baby shower and gender reveal. Yet, she was continuously supportive and joyous for OP’s growing family. They spoke all the time about their dreams for the future.

The Naming Dilemma

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When the Irish friend inquired about baby names, OP revealed a traditional Irish name choice for her son. The friend was devastated, saying it was the name she’d always wanted for her hypothetical son.

Misguided Surprises

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OP’s intention behind choosing the name was to honor her friend and ask her to be the godmother. She thought it would be a touching surprise, not realizing the depth of attachment her friend had to the name.

A Connection Challenged

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Upon confrontation, OP tried to justify the name choice by revealing her husband’s recent discovery of being 18% Irish through a DNA test. The Irish friend retorted that this didn’t make them genuinely Irish.

The Depth of Pain

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The Irish friend’s pain was palpable, especially when OP mentioned that her friend would never naturally have a child to name. The friend countered that she might adopt an unnamed baby, showing that her desire for the name remained strong.

Motivations Questioned

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

OP suggested the friend’s resistance might be out of jealousy or resentment. This deeply hurt her friend, leading to her abruptly ending their conversation. Immediately after, OP felt remorse for what she said.

Silence Between Friends

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The strong bond they once shared was put to the test as the Irish friend ceased all communication with OP. Every attempt to reach out was met with silence. OP did not want to lose her friend, and at the same time, she wanted to keep the baby name.

An Embroidered Dilemma

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The situation grew complicated as OP’s mother had already embroidered the chosen name on blankets and newborn clothing. The name was not just a word anymore; it had become an identity for the unborn child.

A Husband’s Perspective

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Seeing the strained friendship, OP’s husband believed a choice was imminent: the name or the friend. But to OP, this wasn’t about a name but her son’s identity versus a hypothetical child’s name.

The Impasse

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OP was the one who was pregnant, she reasoned, so she should be the one to choose whichever name she wants. If the situation were reversed, OP would gladly support her friend’s name.

The Emotional Tug-of-War

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While OP believed she was honoring her friend, the Irish woman felt her cultural identity and personal dreams were being co-opted. Both sides had genuine feelings and reasons for their perspectives.

Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?

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In search of unbiased opinions, OP posted her story online for feedback and perspective. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.

Forum Responds

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

One reader said, “The names you share with your best friend are off limits, end of story. No matter how the circumstances change.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “Those DNA tests are famously inaccurate, and if your husband’s only connection to his Irish heritage is the test, then I agree with your friend. He isn’t Irish!”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “Finding out you are infertile is a grieving process. You claim you’re best friends, yet this doesn’t come across in the way you write about her. In fact, the way you talk about her fertility struggles is quite cruel.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “Your husband is right. You’ll have to pick the name or the friendship, but it sounds like you’ve already stubbornly chosen it, even though you know it hurts her. You’re not a good friend.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.

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