“If you was a boy, you’d be Marlboro,” my father said in his Appalachian twang when I asked him why he named me Brandy. While this insight didn’t appear to answer my question immediately, I began to see the twisted logic behind my father’s penchant for narcotic substances serving as inspiration for naming offspring—and it made me glad that I turned out to be a girl.
I was beginning to think that my father wasn’t so crazy after all for wanting to name me after cigarettes and booze. How was that any different from wanting to name my kids for tattoos I wanted to get? How could I pass judgment on something that was imbued with meaning for him so much that he wanted to name me accordingly?
–Chick Ink: 40 Stories of Tattoos–And the Women Who Wear Them