IMR: 1997: December: 29 -- Monday, 7:32 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i
I found the contract.

Its existence has reached mythical proportions in recent months. It made for a great story, but I'm sure half the people to whom I told it (I hate writing around split infinitives) think it's just a tall tale.

It's not. I've got it right here, creased and fading.

See, more than two years ago, Jen and I, long settled in this Waikiki apartment, were marveling at the joys of cohabitation. We started talking -- if not seriously -- about having children. Specifically, what their names would be.

Since I was about ten, I've always loved the name Katherine. No real reason; no preschool girlfriends had the name (that would be Erin) nor high school crushes. I just thought it was pretty and elegant. I resolved early on that my daughter -- however unlikely it was that I'd procreate -- would have that name.

Jen loved the name too. Well, almost. For her, it was Catherine. Spelt with a C, as in Wuthering Heights.

By the time the paper and pen came out, we had argued about it for months. Spontaneously we'd start bickering. "K." "C." "K!" "C!" Over dinner, in the car, at the movies. You'd think we were former Chiefs cheerleaders.

That fateful evening, we were feeling especially playful. I sat down and drafted the contract. The exact text was and is as follows:

"I, Jennifer Anne Eno, do hereby affirm on this, the fifth day of November, nineteen hundred and ninety five, that upon the birth of my first daughter, her name is to be Katherine, spelt with a 'K' as the first letter (as in the 11th letter of the English alphabet).

I do further affirm that violation of this contract will be rectified (1) by legal action, through changing said daughter's name to Katherine; and (2) by tickle torture, through an unspecified period of time, as determined by Ryan M.K. Ozawa, not to exceed fifteen years; and (3) application of twenty hickeys within 24 hours in areas readily visible."

(She'd previously made the mistake of daring me to give her a hickey in the center of her forehead. No, it's not impossible.)

She signed it, as did Nate and his roommate Tim who arrived minutes later.

She says she signed it under duress -- that I was already tickling her and threatening to keep it up. Lies, I tell you, all lies. Both our witnesses will gladly testify to that fact.

When Katherine is old enough, I'll show it to her. And I'll say, "This is why you should never sign whimsical contracts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem at the time."

Time Capsule


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 29 December 1997 · Last Modified: 1 January 1997