Friday, December 11, 2009
Happy Birthday, Honey...
When I married my Ex I was 24, and I took his last name because I loved his family, and the idea didn't really bother me at first. Turns out there was only ONE person in the area with my first and maiden name, me, and in one physician's practice alone with my married name I was one of ten.
That was a bit annoying. I put it aside.
One thing that did bother me a bit more as time passed was that I had been the last member of my family with my maiden name. There were no boys to pass it down. I don't know why this matters to anyone, let alone to me, but it did. When we finally divorced one of the very first things I did was to take my paperwork down to the county courthouse and get my name back. I swore with God as my witness I would never go hungry again give up my name again.
This apparently bothered Coyote, as my previous married name went well with Julie (The Weasel). Eventually though, Summerell gave her the chance to create the moniker, Summerkins, which is much more fun anyway.
It was a bit of a pain in the ass to get my name back and have to contact everyone under the sun and provide proof of the action so they would change my name on accounts etc. As a matter of fact, my bank has Summerell on all of my accounts, even on my online banking page, but every email I receive from them is addressed to Julie (Former Married Name). THAT pisses me off. No one there has any idea why.
So when Rich and I decided to get hitched I told him flat out I was keeping my name. I could tell he was a bit hurt, but I informed him that I had done too much work to get it back and I wouldn't be giving it up again. I refused to hyphenate because my name already has nine freaking letters in it and barely fits on signature lines. My mother, who works in a school system, strongly urged me to take his name since we planned on having a kid. She said it's a total pain in the ass dealing with multiple names in a household. I didn't care. MY name. Mine.
When we had Livvie, however, her name was hyphenated up until the moment I filled out the birth certificate in the hospital. Rich wasn't there, and when I got to the box for last name I simply used his. My mother's plea had sunk in, and I was imagining a school system dealing with three last names. Yeah. No. I also pictured HER having to sign all of that in the future if they hadn't yet gotten around to microchipping and scanning us all. When the horrid woman who deals with those matters brought the certificate copy to me Rich told me I had forgotten to hyphenate her. I told him I had done it on purpose.
Jonas, naturally, was given Rich's last name alone from the get go after that.
So for the past 4 years of marriage I've been puttering around with MY name. Everyone was informed I was keeping it. All of my correspondence includes it. Am I addressed this way? Most of the time. However, every older member of my family, and ALL of Rich's family, sends me mail and checks written to Julie (His Last Name).
Holy Shitballs did that piss me off. Every check I had to endorse pissed me off. I eventually just resigned myself to the whole deal until one day I was depositing one, and the teller helpfully said, "We have name change forms in here if you need to fill one out," and I said, "No. I did not change my name. They're ignoring that."
She (helpfully) shut up.
Many doctor visits since Livvie and Jonas were born have resulted in many phone calls, and every single time I pick up the phone I hear, "Mrs. _____?" In the beginning I would say, "This is Ms. Summerell, _____'s mother," and they would apologize and continue the call. After Captain Reflux was born, however, I was dealing with doctor calls constantly. I got to the point where I stopped correcting them and simply sighed and said, "Yes." Utility companies too. It was just easier.
The other day a package for the kids arrived from Rich's dad's girlfriend, and it was addressed to Julie _____. I picked it up and yelled, "FINE!!!!" I'm sure our new neighbors were delighted.
So today I sent a check for certified copies of our marriage certificate to take to Social Security. When I get my new card I can then go to the DMV and get my new license. Then I get to again contact everyone under the sun to inform them of the change.
And it doesn't bother me in the least. It will be nice having the same name as my kids. I'll have a signature that fits on charge slips. I'll also have a somewhat silly last name. That bit sort of doesn't matter, though, as I am using mine for writing purposes and on Facebook and the like. Rich's company used to check potential employees out, and if they had social networking pages they didn't hire them. I don't know if that's still the case, but I don't think they need to find his last name on my pages. I am also leaving my email address the same.
He came home today and said, "Hello Mrs. _____."
I told him to shut up.
I'm still not comfortable with the whole "Mrs." thing.