Here’s a short list of baby names in 2015: Swayze, Orson, D’Artagnan, Nyx, Fenella, Larkyn and Monet. So far in 2016, some of the names are Mhavrych, Beberly, C’andre, and Abcde.
Then there’s Joe. In the early 1900s, Joe (or Joseph) was the fifth most popular baby name, and in 2011 it ranked 22nd in popularity. And that doesn’t include Joe Cool, Average Joe, G.I. Joe, Sloppy Joe, or the feminine Jo, JoAnn, Joey and Joley. Joe is one of America’s most popular, enduring names, as evidenced in actors, sports legends, politicians, phrases, and establishments.
March 27 is National Joe Day. Celebrate it over a cuppa joe with friends, and consider a secondary celebration: For one day, call yourself Joe (or some version of the name) and see what happens. Supposedly, one day of being Joseph or Jo Ann will give you new insights. (Just don’t sign checks or any legal papers with your one-day name, or it will also give you a whole new set of problems.)
Changing your name for one day gives you a chance to see the world—and yourself—differently. Is JOE or JO ANN kinder, smarter, happier, more hopeful or helpful? Does JOE or JO ANN order foods you don’t like, get more done, or kick back and enjoy being a couch potato? If for a day you’re JOE or JO ANN, will you take a risk, apologize to someone, express what you’re really feeling, sing in public, hug a stranger, or confront a bully?
National Joe Day is yours to do with as you will. It’s not like entering the Witness Protection Program or legally changing your name. It’s just one day to be someone else and see the day through new eyes. Or just have a cuppa joe with a friend and talk about what it would be like—good or bad—to have a different name for a day, and be a different person. This isn’t an exercise to experience what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s or dementia, but you might be surprised.