"Parallel lives, huh?" He was lying next to me in bed, looking at his phone.

"Hmm." My doctor has me on this breathing programme. To combat anxiety. I was anxious to block my husband out. Lips together, jaw relaxed, breathing low and slow.

I was also trying to block out the fact I had book club that night with 25-odd pages of the book still to go, my concern over the special treatment granted the agriculture industry in the Zero Carbon Bill, and what to do about my increasingly grey hair.

"Wait 'til you see," he said, oblivious to my efforts to restore a baseline calm, "what your namesake has called her baby."



Slightly gleefully he read out the headline. "Archie – the name no one saw coming." But I did. I saw it coming. I have been regretting the name I chose for our 14-year-old son practically his whole life; ruing I ever won the argument.

"Too trite," I said of my husband's first choice, Baxter.

Oh the irony. I have watched in sickening dread as every year Archie creeps up the list of most popular baby names for boys. Gaining on Oliver, overtaking Henry. What seemed quirkily retro 15 years ago, has felt increasingly and tragically… trendy.

Megan Nichol Reed and her son Archie. Photo / Supplied
Megan Nichol Reed and her son Archie. Photo / Supplied

Making a mockery of my privately held belief, that, while painfully aware of fashion, I was somehow magically outside of it. Turns out I'm not so special. Turns out I was just riding the zeitgeist along with everyone else.

My husband came from a lengthy line of Alberts and in a rare act of rebellion his mother had bucked tradition and refused to saddle either of her sons with the name.

Perversely I quite fancied it for our firstborn, but my husband said it made him think of two things: a morbidly obese black cartoon kid and a penis piercing. Looking back I can only surmise that talk of Fat Albert led me to my own childhood comic book hero, Archie Andrews. How original, I thought. Sure I knew of old men called Archie, but not a single little Archie.

And then I did. And then they were everywhere. At school there was an Archie above my son, and one in every year below him. At the park I started hearing people calling for their dog: "Archie. C'mon boy. Here's a good boy."

Last year a cafe called Archie selling spice roasted cauliflower on toast opened on Ponsonby Rd. And every time I happen upon one of those impossibly attractive middle class families in the pages of an interior design magazine or a Country Road new season catalogue, I scour the caption listing the kids' weirdly old school, blue collar names: Ivy, Charlie, Sadie… and inevitably, Archie.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Photo / Getty Images
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Photo / Getty Images

We like to think of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as modern, unafraid to upset the apple cart. Sadly, though, I could have told them there's nothing even remotely progressive about the name Archie.

No, they should have got all chav on it; named him Jordyn or Tyrell or Kaiden. Now that would have been inclusive.