I hate that my name is so in vogue these days. If you look at the nifty and ever-useful Baby Name Wizard (result above), you'll see that in over 100 years, incidence of "Claire" naming never broke the 600 babies per million limit. Not a popular name (but still in the top 1000).
You'll also see that the name's nadir occurred in the early seventies, right when I was born. So when my parents named me, there were only around 100 babies per million of my cohort named "Claire." It was an unusual name.
I grew up not knowing, or even knowing of any other Claires. It was my name only, well-known enough so that no one questioned it, but unusual enough that I didn't have to contend with preconceptions. When Judd Nelson in "The Breakfast Club" claimed "Claire" as "a fat girl's name," it was truly one of those gaffes inevitable in a teen movie written by adults: no 80's teens knew any Claires; the stereotype was one from an earlier era, or perhaps had sprung full-blown out of John Hughes' head.
So the spike in Claires in 2005 gives me more than pause. It gives me menopause, especially since it is accompanied by a sudden spike in movie and especially TV Claires:
• Claire Fisher in "Six Feet Under"
• Claire Bennet in "Heroes"
• a massive number of one-timers on nighttime dramas, especially some ingenue about to die in medical shows
• a girlfriend who did die in flashbacks in movies
• a number of wives and girlfriends in B movies too embarrassing to mention.
It's so gross hearing people onscreen use my name for all of these boring, pretty, white beloveds. They're not Claires! None of 'em are! Just stop it, y'all! Stop!