December 3, 2007

Buy a Vowel?

Here. We're gonna vote. An article in the NYT is addressing the whole whose- name- is- it- going -to- be -after- the- wedding dilemma.

Only, and here's my vote, why is this an issue? I remember as a child discovering my mother had had a different name, and I was aghast. I'm not sure what thought processes occurred at the time, but all of sudden, my mom became this different person in my eyes. Like, she'd had a life before us, and it must have been fascinating. She was very traditional, and I'm sure she never paused for a second in changing her name to my father's back in 1956, but surely there must have been a little wistful something there, right?

I could no more change my name than peel off my skin. Maybe if my last name was Tiddleywinks or something, but even then, I'm not so sure. I spent a lifetime getting people to spell 'Sommerfeld' (and many still can't) but I'll be damned if I'd fight that fight and then quit.

I'm not big on hyphens (as a dear friend of mine says 'pick one already!'), and while my kids have a different last name from me, they are half Sommerfeld all the way. I know; they know. I know people that have invented a new name for both bride and groom - again, if it's what you both want, I don't care. I like history too much to do that, and I doubt you can erase the slate anyway. In the article, there's a line about not knowing what to monogram on towels. Huh? Monogramed towels? How quaint. If fretting over embroidered initials is the biggest think you're having, just wait until the dress doesn't fit or the caterers screw up. Or your mother-in-law falls into the champagne fountain.

Here's what I think: do what you want. Keep a name, pick a name, swap a name, invent a name. Whatever you do, don't defend it - it's your business. Unless you make it ours, and then we can make fun of you for sticking all the letters of you and your bethrothed's names into a blender and announcing you will now be Mr. and Mrs. Gvothdrylt.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aahh, we live in the golden age of reverse chattel-ism. A society that values possessions more than lineage and ancestry. Aided and abetted a misguided attempt to demarcate personal territory including our own bodies. When top Ivy League grad, Muffy Winthrop married Kip Barton, her ascending career as prosecuting attorney for Dewie, Cheetum & Howe was in peril should she lose her maiden name and select list of clients. Hence, the rise of Muffy Winthrop-Barton and a host of other triple barrel names.The inference here being my name is worth more than your name, chum. I understand how it happens and it doesn't bother me at all. As long as Muffy's lack of self confidence doesn't extend into the court room, I'm happy. On the other side, there are societies that are matrilineal such as certain African nations. Is one system better than the other? I think not. It's just a matter of what one is used to. You don't see Brian Mulroney changing his name after all the shinola he's pulled off do you? Nor did that certain news anchorman. LOL

December 04, 2007 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 04, 2007 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of buzzwhack's actual position on this issue--reverse chattel-ism? reverence for lineage? whose lineage? And what is it that "we are used to"? How long does something have to be in use before it's considered traditional? Anyway, after reading that bit of gorgeously expressed ramble, I have absolutely nothing to add to Lorraine's thoughts on this matter except to emphasize... Choose something. Stick with it. And please, please, don't burden your children with these ridiculous double-barreled names because you couldn't get your butt off the fence.

December 04, 2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and I'd like to know what's wrong with the last name Tiddleywinks?

Irma Tiddleywinks

December 04, 2007 1:14 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Can you imagine being the youngest child? Piddley? Or the funny one? Riddley?

December 04, 2007 1:20 PM  
Blogger dudley said...

No, Ridley's believe it or not...

December 04, 2007 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Arlene. My position on the issue of double last names is bemused indifference.I merely noted one factor that led to this. I'm sure there are others. Names are funny anyway. Cruickshank...there's a nice one, Old English for crooked leg.

December 04, 2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some should be careful when considering hyphenated names. Case in point can be found on Randy Bachman's site, at the link below, about 2/3 down the page. (Under the M's)

I've checked this out, this person does exist!


December 05, 2007 10:06 PM  

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