What’s in a name?

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I remember sitting on my fiance’s mom’s bed after her husband’s funeral. I was on a corded landline, talking with my high school drama teacher. It was just weeks before my wedding. She told me she hoped I wouldn’t let the death of my fiance’s dad pressure me into changing my name. I didn’t. I kept my name.

I remember my daughter’s birth. I didn’t want to have a name different from hers. So, I filled out paperwork, updated my license and taught everyone at school to call me by my new title. One of the secretaries never got it right. For years, she would call me over the PA system by my old name. I knew she was talking to me though.

A few weeks ago, after my divorce was officially final, I called the Social Security Office, confused. In order to prove I was a real person, I needed all kinds of paperwork. It seemed silly since somewhere I still have the Social Security card that I got when I was like 12. I wondered why I couldn’t just use that and pretend the last few decades never happened. Instead I had to have my doctor’s office give me paperwork proving who I was. Thankfully the doctor agreed, I am indeed a real person.

Today I opened the mail from Social Security and pulled out my new card.

So now,
I am officially the
old me with my
new (old) name
on my
new
social security card
that looks a lot like my
old old card

7 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. OH, I remember this struggle well! I ended up keeping my married name after I divorced. This was a harder decision than I thought it would be.
    But when I remarried, I got a fresh, new name to go with the fresh, new relationship.

  2. When I re-married I thought a lot about not changing my name again. It’s a hassle! And it does feel a bit like giving up a bit of one’s self. I hope you enjoy being fully YOU again.

  3. Don’t you just love the way the government works? When you want something from them there is no great rush on their part. When they want something from you they want it yesterday and shy couldn’t you have it then.

  4. SO much. There’s SO much in a name, and I’m glad and grateful to know you have your rightful one back, even if it take some wrangling, some strong-arming, and perhaps a few gray hairs along the way.

  5. I kept my married name when I divorced to match my kids and by now I have had it so long… I do miss my birth last name and kept it as my middle name, so… who knows.

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