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   Wednesday, September 15, 2004  

That which we call a rose

Over the past couple of days, I have been doing things that quite frankly should have been done years ago. Namely, well, changing my name. I got married to Mr. W in May of 2000. I had every intention of changing my name because, quite honestly, I wasn't overly attached to being Miss M. I'm sure it had something to do with the divorce of my parents when I was two, the subsequent marriages of both of my parents, and the fact that my father was basically non-existent in my life. The decision to give up his name wasn't difficult as he had always had only slightly more than a biological claim on me. Please don't misunderstand me. I do love my father. In fact, it's probably a much deeper love than I have ever allowed myself to admit. It's my step-mother I don't like. To be truthful, I despise that wretched excuse for a woman and all that she is and does (which includes belittling her two adopted children, treating my brother and me badly, disrespecting my mother, and being controlling and manipulative of my father). As a result of her influence, my father simply was not around.

So, changing my name was never really a question. Unless of course you were to know exactly what the "W" stands for. It is sufficiently Jewish as to render it nearly impossible for an elementary student to pronounce, and as they put it "It sounds like it has a bad word in it!" So, I let them call me Mrs. W. I had asked my husband if he would be interested in my last name, but, he was not. He liked that he had a "z" in his name, wheras I did not. Also, he didn't really want to take my father's name (for the reasons previously mentioned and because before the divorce, my father was extremely physically abusive toward my mother).

You may be asking yourself why I didn't change my name sooner. It's very simple really: I am lazy. Of course, there is a secondary reason. In October of the year we were married, I bought a car. In my name. A 2001 Volkswagen New Beetle Turbo in Vortex, with all the toys. I love my car. And because my entire credit history was under Miss M, that is the name I had to apply with. The dealer did not want me to change my name immediately before the purchase (when I finally got my NY license after living here for 5 months) because he felt this could "confuse" the lenders. Apparently social security numbers are not sufficient to identify a person. So, I didn't change my name then. I planned to do it after the car was in my possession, but I just never got around to it.

I did however change my name on our bank accounts to be Miss M W (without a hyphen) so that my paychecks (which say simply Mrs. W) would not confuse the bank. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to hyphenate. In the end, I decided that this was a bad idea. I think you have to have a combination including simple, common names in order to hyphenate. At least one of the names should be a one syllable name. They end of the first name should be some form of consonant if the beginning of the next is a vowel; the reverse of this is also acceptable.

Since neither of my names are appropriate for hyphenating (Irish and Jewish names just don't seem to have the right flow, at least, with the ones I'm stuck with), I have decided that the name I have put on my bank account is the one I am going with for my new Social Security card, which I expect to get in about three weeks: Miss Middlename M W. Yes, I am keeping ALL of my names. Because each part of my name is a part of who I have become. And when some day my child is born, he will have my name: Baby Boy(orGirl) M W.

Other things I have been doing include going to work, studying and going to grad school. As I've said, I'm doing a lot of things that should have been done a long time ago!

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  Comments about my post, "That which we call a rose":
I did the name change the second I got married, even had some of the forms in the mail the day before we took our vows. I say, whatever works for you and that the name you keep is a personal preference. I had a jewish/english combination and liked the sound of his name because it's easier to spell and I'm not one for spelling out my name because I have to do that constantly with my first name. The truth is, I'm just not a good speller (anyone who reads my blog can attest to that -- but hey, I do know what the words I misspell mean, so that's got to count for something ;), so I went for the easy way. Looking forward to hearing about baby M W, hopefull soon :)

God, the name thing. Nightmare. My first husband's last name was virtually identical to my first name. Imagine, if you will, something like Erica Erik. Or Kate Kayte. Not so great. I hyphenated til we divorced upon which I dropped the name like a hot potato. It's still on my passport though, which is a pain.

Mmm, New Beetle- niiiiice.

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