With apologies to Billy Shakespeare. And (almost daily now) thanks to my blog pal DJan for giving me the idea for this topic.
don't know who is responsible for the archaic tradition of women
changing their last names, but I wish it had never gotten started. (I
guess we are better off in some ways: Now Sally Jones gets to be Sally
Smith, where she used to be Mrs. Sammy Smith and she lost both her first
AND her last names.)
I liked my maiden name, Williams. I
didn't much like being the last one who got called for anything in
school, even behind Ronnie Wilkes, but I liked the name. I appreciated
having ONE name that I didn't have to spell. When I got married the
first time, though, I was so young (21) and stupid (duh) that I loved
the novelty of changing my last name. (Told you I was stupid.) I must
have thought it was so cool to change my social security card, driver's
license, every credit card, bank account, stationery, everything. At
least we didn't have email addresses to change back then.
I became Brock. At least I moved to the beginning of the alphabet, but I
was way past the point of having papers returned at that point.
I married the second time, I should have returned to Williams and never
looked back. (I should have skipped the second marriage altogether, but
then I might not have met Hubby, so...)
My name became
Tiller then. When I went through a bad spell of killing animals on my
way to school (I cried for days over the dog, the deer did $2000 worth
of damage to my van and ran off LAUGHING, and I swear that chicken
committed suicide in front of my car), my high school students started
calling me Killer Tiller. I kind of liked that, because most students
who heard it didn't know about my animal killing habits and instead
thought I was a killer of a teacher. Whatever works.
By the time Hubby and I married, I had come to the conclusion
that changing one's name to match her spouse is a chauvinistic
institution and I wished I could return to my maiden name. I was afraid,
though, that Hubby would be insulted. If I had taken the last names of
my other two husbands, why wouldn't I take his? At that point I think it
might have been enough to cause some friction between us. If it
happened now, I don't think he would care at all. But it's kind of late
now to go back.
Katydid's divorce became final recently (after a six-year
separation), and she returned to our maiden name. it made me a tiny bit
jealous. Her first husband was also a Williams, so it was a LONG time
before she ever had to change her last name anyway. Just to add to the
confusion, our mother's first name is Carol, and our step-father's last
name was Carroll. She still has to explain that one, and spell both
names to boot.
My brother says he doesn't understand the fascination with our
last name; I get the feeling he would change HIS name if he could.
Like several of the people who commented on DJan's post, I kept
my maiden name as my middle name. At least I didn't have to give it up