August 28, 2014 at 11:59 AM (Uncategorized)

Another post from a friend of mine made me think about this today. I wish I could fit three names for last name not just two, because all three of these names are important to me for different reasons. The first is the last name I was born with my biological father’s last name. They’re a quick tempered, quick witted charming people full of inventiveness creativity and humor. I’m not as in touch with as many of them as I would like to be but I have repaired the relationship somewhat. The distance is in part my fault. 

Because  of the difficulties in my father’s life I came to be ambivalent about his name and the connotations it brought with it. I thought in error that it gave me nothing but negative and that I had no use for it. ( I realized later how wrong that was and reached out to my uncles aunts and cousins and really recognize the wonderful things that family has always brought to me.)
That happened to coincide with the decade I got married in and it was very much an incentive to do the old school thing to take my husband’s name.   It was shorter more concise, and felt like stability and a fresh start after the chaos that my father’s difficulties had brought into my adolescence.

I am very grateful now that I did that, took my husband’s last name. That name feels like a touchstone a link back to his family his feelings his interests and all of the good things that he gave me as part of the marriage. It’s an important thing to carry around with you. Should my life change so much that I would consider marrying again, that might be the only time I’d feel I could change that name.

I do use my father’s name now as a middle name on some social media platforms so that high school friends can find me. Because I feel I should have been this double handled person all along, carry both names at the same time and better late than never
but I’ve managed to do it.

What’s really annoyed me though these last 30 or so years since my parents got divorced. I would have liked to carry around my mother’s maiden name  to celebrate all of my family members who carry that name just like I celebrate my husband and just like I celebrate my father’s people. My mother’s people have had just as much if not more to do with the person I am today and the support system I have today and the people I am blessed to call my friends as well as my family.  It has always felt wrong that their name doesn’t hang anywhere on me so I think I’m going to try to appropriate it as a second middle name on my social media platform.  (Maybe Twitter. Facebook is kinda full.)  Like my newest cousin Emily who very succinctly and clearly delineated what her name means to her and why a four handle name would be too long for checks or official documents… Four names are too much.  I couldn’t carry it around in the offline world very easily but maybe I can make a corner here in my online presence for that last name to be added to the others so that all three of the last  names I want to carry with me  get the respect they deserve.

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