An open letter to Saint West.
You don’t know me, Baby Saint. But I feel like I know you. I’ve never experienced what it’s like to be the child of two stars like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but I do know how it feels to be comfy in a onesie as someone tells your mom, “I love that name! I never met anyone with that name before!”
I was just like you once. I was special. But that was 40 years ago and I’m writing because I want you to know that it’s not going to last.
Now, my name, Logan, might not carry the same spiritual weight as yours, or the same semi-sacrilegious bravado, but in 1975, the year of my birth, it would blow people out of the water. “His name is Logan,” my mom would say, and people wouldn’t know what hit them. “Lo-gan,” they’d repeat, just to feel those exotic syllables roll off their tongues.
Then she would ask, “What’s your baby’s name?” And they’d mumble something vaguely apologetic like, “Michael?”
You probably don’t know this, Baby Saint, but the top-five baby boy names in 1975 were what your parents might call “basic”: Michael, Jason, Christopher, James, and David. Baby Logans like me were so underground, we barely cracked the chart at No. 902 — just above my bros Che (No. 906) and Carmelo (No. 911).
At preschool, I was the only Logan in a sea of Jameses and Johns. I went to middle school with a Steven, a Steve, and a Stephen. I had crushes on at least five Jennifers. By high school, people maybe had a friend who hooked up with a Logan at summer camp or they’d maybe seen Logan’s Run or read X-Men comics and thought it was badass that I had Wolverine’s real name. (It still is.) But there was only me — so I felt like I could make that name mean anything I wanted, and I didn’t have to define myself against any other Logan to do it.
On into my 20s and 30s, here’s how it would go: “What’s your name?” Logan. “Ooh, I love that name.” Over and over. It was the beginning of the end. First people say, “Cool name.” Then they take your name and give it to their babies.
You may not want to hear this now, Baby Saint, but I am telling you, you won’t be the only Baby Saint for long.
These days, I can’t hit a playground with my daughter without hearing young parents in on-trend eyeglasses shouting, “Logan! Logan!” I’ve had to learn to tune it out. To be honest, Baby Saint, it’s a drag to always be reminded of the old days, when people would shout my name and I knew that they could only be thinking of me.
Until recently, I could Google myself and get unique search results because I was a unique human being. Now there’s a cute Instagram girl Logan Hill; a six-seven high-school basketball stud Logan Hill; and, worst of all for my Google-search rank, this minor-league baseball star Logan Hill, who was born in 1993, the year I pitched my high-school team to a losing record.
Even my DMs aren’t safe anymore, Baby Saint. Not long after my 40th birthday, some teen girl accidentally flirted with me when she mistyped her boyfriend Logan Hill’s Twitter handle. Then a high-school basketball player DM’d me this: “Wassup bro its the dude from CJ when we played against each other at UD. You was a real cool dude.” That did not make me feel like a real cool dude, Baby Saint.
I also did not feel like a real cool dude at all when I discovered that a line of “relaxed but polished” Logan Hill menswear had been trademarked and is being sold “exclusively” at Sears Canada. Baby Saint, I doubt Kim and Kanye will ever take you to a Sears Canada, but I bet they can back me up when I tell you that there is nothing exclusive about a “Logan Hill™ Men’s Micro-Cozy Microfibre Robe.”
I do have one thing in common with your dad, Baby Saint. Over the last three decades, I, like hip-hop, have gone mainstream. I’ve lost my edge, and I’m writing because I want you to know this happens faster than you think.
I looked at 2014’s top-five baby boy names and, I admit, my first thought was: Babies Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob, and William sound handsome. I imagined them starring in an indie web series about a boy band that opts out of global fame and starts over in Bushwick. But they’re just babies, Baby Saint. These guys are the trendy Jasons of your generation, staring down the barrel of a future filled with usernames like Noah719 and Mas0n_taco.
When I look further down that list, I see little babies Rylen (No. 1,000) and Jair (No. 994), Kannon (No. 918) and Konner (No. 919), Kale (No. 972) and Kalel (No. 855), and little baby Axl (No. 850) and I think: Welcome to the jungle, kids. Like you, they are so swaddled in warm compliments right now that they can’t feel the cold truth all around them: that we all get old, that we all turn 40, that the people telling them they’re special might be wrong.
Baby Saint, maybe you’re thinking: No way am I going to be some middle-aged man with some basic name. Well, I used to think the same thing, back when I was No. 902. Now I’m No. 13 on the list.
You know who was No. 13 in 1975? Fucking Eric.
Now I’m the Eric.
You may not want to hear this, Baby Saint, but, some day — and probably some day soon, thanks to your family’s fame — you’ll be the Eric, too.
I close my eyes and picture you, comfy in teensy Air Yeezys and a classy Kardashian Kids outfit, never imagining that there might be another Baby Saint in the whole world. But the Baby Saints are coming. Soon, you won’t be alone. And if other parents keep coming up with more unusual names, having an unusual name might not even be unusual, anyway.
Baby Saint, don’t cry. I don’t mean to scare you. I’m actually writing because I want you to know that you’ve got so much to look forward to: solid foods, sex, BoJack Horseman. Yes, inevitably, a stampede of Baby Saints will come marching in and trample you underfoot, but you will have a brief moment when you’re at the head of the pack — a little window of time when you’re just a few steps ahead of all the latter-day Saints and you can feel the sunrise warmth of the future on your face, like it’s shining on you and you alone and you’re the only Baby Saint in the world.
I’m writing, Baby Saint, because I want you to hold onto that feeling. As you learn to crawl and walk and run and build a multi-platform lifestyle company of your own, don’t look back at the younger Saints marching in. Ignore them. (Especially ignore Pete Wentz’s baby Saint, though I know it will be hard.) Just keep marching, Baby Saint.
There’s just one last thing I want to tell you, and it’s this: I love your name. I never met anyone with that name before. That’s really something.