Ariane de Gennaro
Go to yalies.io. Look up your name. What do you find?
If you were born in the U.S. between 1996 and 2004, you are most likely named either Jacob or Emily. If you’re not named Jacob or Emily — celebrate, you beat the odds. If you’re named Jacob or Emily, celebrate anyway. Go back to yalies.io. Search for Jacob. See a wall of Jacobs: a toothy-smile Jacob, a toothless grin Jacob, a stoic Jacob, a smizing Jacob, a …… Look closer. Discover an economics Jacob, a Georgia Jacob, a Gemini Jacob, a sophomore Branford Jacob from California who was born in September and doesn’t know his major yet. Wonder why most Jacobs are in Franklin. Also wonder if you should know this much personal info about Jacob and Jacob and Jacob.
If you were born between 1996 and 2004, you are less likely, but still fairly likely, to be named Diego.
Close the tab. Check your email. If you’re named Diego, find the email to Diego, Diego, Diego, Diego, Diego, me, Diego, and Diego with the subject, “Anyone want do a group Diego dinner?”. Since you’re busy, lazy, jaded and too cool to explore beyond your inner circle, close the email. Go about your day. Rest and remember the Davids. In Fall 2021, spurred by a mislabeled package to “David,” Yale’s army of Davids shamelessly united. They didn’t care. Pause. Reflect. Recheck your email.
A bolder Diego has already replied. He’ll offer to host the Diego Dinner at his home if another Diego can spearhead the cooking. Another Diego will reply. Like you, he can’t cook. But he’ll establish the Diego Dinner Fund (DDF, much like the IMF, for short). Another another Diego will reply and agree with Diego and Diego. The Diegos are sharp, witty, everything you’d expect them to be. You, of course, must reply with an email as witty as the others. Don’t panic. If they’re anything like you, they’ll understand a witless email. Right? Think for a day. At a club meeting, talk to another Diego you know. He’ll be intimidated by the chain too. Reassure him. Go home, write the email, send. More replies will trickle in. A date is set. Nobody will know how to cook — why?
Shower, shave, dress. Pick up the pizza you ordered and debate whether you should send a “PIZZAA INCOMING!!” email. Decide against it, save the excitement. You still won’t know whether the other Diegos are understanding. Smile and meet a Diego at the door, then more inside. Immediately bond over the fact that you were nearly all named after Diego Rivera. Also bond over the fact that you get confused when you hear “Jacob” because it almost sounds like Diego. Jacob is a common name. Everybody will rock different shoes: Stan Smiths, black boots, hiking Hokas, black Converse. None of it matters. Get deeper. Share that you cried when a girl said “Go, Diego, Go” to you in second grade. Hear and laugh at how others dealt with what was pseudo childhood trauma for you. The theme song was my cross-country anthem, one will say. I did cross-country too, another will shout. Me too, another.
Dinner will have some awkward pauses. After all, it’s nine strangers who share a name. Thank a Diego for bringing Tequila. It’s the good stuff, he’ll say. Together, take a shot. Salud. Pa’ riba, Pa’bajo, Pa’centro, Pa’dentro it. When the Diegos go around and say whether they have siblings, joke that your older sister is named Dora. The Diegos will roar. They’re understanding. Take another shot. Wait. Then another. Make sure the Diegos are also drinking water. Get rowdy to Bad Bunny and Diego by Torey Lanez. Flip cups. Ping Pong. Everybody will shout, hug and welcome the Diego who showed up late. Ah — you’ll love the Diegos.