Maine Editorial Photographer/Photojournalist » Professional Maine Photography Brunswick Portland ME

Blame it on The Beatles

So who hasn’t searched on the internet to find other people who share your name? Intrigued by what you might find–famous or infamous, it can be an adventure.

Until last night I had to be content with finding Michelle Stapletons.  Yes, Michele plus an extra L Stapleton. There are seven pages of them just in Facebook.

And for that I have The Beatles to blame.

Before 1965 Michele was not such a common name. With one L or with two.

By the time I was in high school I knew only three other Micheles, four if you count the Michele I was named after but don’t remember meeting. I knew only one Michelle.

The year I was born, Michele with one L was number 100 on the list of the most popular baby girl names. That same year Michelle with two Ls was only slightly more popular at 88.

However, with The Beatles’ release of the Rubber Soul album in 1965, everything changed.

Michelle  the song (which won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 1966) propelled Michelle the name to number four. It was the number two girl’s name four different years in the next decade and stayed in the top ten until 1980.

Fading a bit with each passing decade, the two-L Michelle is nevertheless still in the top 100. No doubt with a Michelle in the White House (ironically, she was born the year before Michelle), the two-L Michelle is destined for a renaissance.

But, sadly, the one-L Michele is sliding into oblivion. After peaking at number 29 in 1968, she went into free fall in the 70s and fell out of the top thousand in 2002. With the highest profile Michele (Bachmann of Minnesota) dropping out of the presidential race things are not looking good for the one-L sisterhood.

I blame The Beatles not only for making my one-L Michele the odd man (or woman?) out, but also for making the two-L Michelle so danged commonplace. I liked sharing a name that was recognized, but not over-used and enjoyed making it all the way through grade school without having another Michele or Michelle in my class.

Before the Beatles, if someone in the grocery store yelled “MICHELE” I knew it was my mother. After The Beatles, I hear the name everywhere. I still turn out of habit, but the mom is calling a kid half my age. With an extra L.

I also blame The Beatles that I never find any personalized kitsch with my name on it. Okay, so this is not a biggee, but there are plenty of Michelle key chains, pencils, coffee mugs, and bracelets everywhere I look, but not a Michele anything. On a vacation I once bought a plastic Michelle license plate and tried to convince myself the extra L  really didn’t matter that much. Hey, it was closer than Melissa and Maureen (names I’ve been called by mistake.)

So, back to the internet and last night, when searching my name for the very first time I spotted another Michele Stapleton.

To make the find even more spectacular, she is only 22 years old according to her Myspace page.

So she is a fairly recent post-Michelle Michele!

Hard to believe her mom and dad didn’t give her a second L.

You reckon they haven’t heard of The Beatles?

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  • August 2, 2014 - 1:42 am

    michele - Love this! Thanks!
    Another “1 L” Michele

  • July 5, 2015 - 7:03 pm

    Michele - Haha, I think you are right about that name. Lol I found 1 keychain with my named spelled correctly with 1 L. By the way, I’m 15 and I guess you could say it hasn’t gone completely out of date.

  • August 3, 2016 - 11:00 pm

    Michele - So you’re saying our name (the 1 L) is truly the correct spelling. Haha. I know, wont win that argument anytime soon.

  • April 3, 2018 - 4:43 am

    Michele - I like the uniqueness of my name. Its always a surprise to meet another Michele. They are often as surprised as i am. Finding anything personalized with one l is always a treat.

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