An Abundance of Ruths

Where I am from, Ruth is clearly a name for older ladies. A very common reaction when I tell people my name has always been: “Oh, I have a grandma / auntie / greatgrandaunt called Ruth!” Case and point: Just listen to Ross and Rachel discussing baby names.

Among people of my generation, my name always seemed like something special. Which is why I was so surprised when I got on the plane in Addis Ababa and saw a flight attendant wearing a name tag saying “Ruth A.” She was called just like me! I grinned at her like an idiot.

But it did not stop there. For a while, I felt like every third woman in Kenya was named Ruth. I am working together on a project with one Ruth, a very fine specimen, witty, knowledgeable and nice. She let me know that there used to be another Ruth working at the office before I started. “Our boss has a thing for Ruths”, she joked.

I don’t think I have ever heard my name as often as I hear it now – or spelled it out eight times in a text, for that matter. It may not seem remarkable to all you Lisas, Michaels, Marys and Alexanders out there. But to me, it’s certainly worth a blog post.


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