Karen Azalea

I went to the nursery and bought a pink Karen azalea in honor of all my friends named Karen. You know who you are.

Does the Karen azalea know that it is named Karen? Of course not. I could walk around the garden calling, “Karen. Karen. Where are you?” It would never answer.

Although my Karen friends answer to the name Karen, each one is a different person–sometimes, very different. There’s nothing specifically Karen-ish about any of them. They each came into the world nameless and will leave this world nameless. Yes, their birth certificate says “Karen,” but that’s really just a temporary designation. Yes, their tombstone will say “Karen,” but passersby will have no idea what that Karen looked like or felt like or how that Karen acted or what that Karen did in her life.

Karen is a name. Names are useful. And ultimately, a name is just a name. An idea.

Just because we have an idea doesn’t mean we have to believe it.

1 thought on “Karen Azalea

  1. Thank you, Cheryl. I’ve shared your thoughtful post with a worldwide group of women named Karen. I ran across it today because I’m looking for a Karen azalea here in northern Vermont to honor our name. No success locally so far, but Putney’s in driving distance. Can you tell me which nursery you bought yours at?

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