What kid wouldn't like to see her name in newspaper headlines or hear it on TV? After all, it must be fun to be famous.
But as girls named Katrina and Rita are finding out, there can be too much of a good thing.
Just ask Katrina Garzon, 9, a fourth-grader at DuFief Elementary in Gaithersburg: "At lunch, everybody says, 'You're named after the hurricane.' I sort of got tired of hearing about it."
Katrina Carey, 11, doesn't mind all the fuss, but has mixed feelings about sharing her name with such a destructive storm. "It's kind of sad because it's such a bad hurricane," she said, "but sort of exciting because you don't get to be named after a hurricane very often."
Friends at her school, St. Andrew Apostle in Silver Spring, have started calling her by a new nickname -- Hurricane. "They joke around about it. I know they're not serious."
Still, Katrina understands that all the news coverage is about more than a name, so she has donated money to her school's collection for Katrina relief.
Her mom, Mary Carey, remembers with a laugh when she first heard that a storm had the same name as her powerful child. "I told her, 'If this hurricane is anything like you, those people had better get out of there.' "
Eleven-year-old Rita Kelly couldn't quite believe it when she saw the headline "Thousands Fleeing Rita . . ." in the newspaper last week.
"That's so funny . . . so cool" to see your name in the paper, the Riverdale girl said with a giggle. What's even funnier is that one of her best friends at Holy Redeemer School in College Park is named -- you guessed it -- Katrina.
"When we found out the next storm was going to be Rita, she said, 'Ha, ha, now you're going to get it, too.' "
Rita doesn't mind the attention, but she does think "it's kind of a weird name to pick for a hurricane. If they were going to have an 'R' hurricane, I'd think they'd pick Robin or Rachel."
Rita has a point about her name not being common. According to the Social Security Administration, Rita didn't make the list of the 1,000 most popular names for girls born in 2004. It last made the list in 2002, when it was the 926th most popular name. Katrina, on the other hand, was the 281st most popular name for baby girls in 2004.
Rita Donson, 11, had been jealous of friends whose names were on the hurricane list. So she's glad it's her turn. "I've been waiting for a long time," said the seventh-grader at Lakelands Park Middle School in Gaithersburg. She likes the notoriety and knows that no one will blame her for Hurricane Rita's devastation.
Katrina Carey says that even after a month of her name being in the news she's not used to it. "I'll hear my name and think somebody is calling me. Then I realize it's just my name on the TV. It's kind of odd. At least no one will ever forget my name."
-- Tracy Grant