That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

I changed my last name. I took my husband’s last name at the age of 46. Why? I joke because I want to be “Italian” since his last name is Italian…well, Sicilian if you want to be technical. But, it is one of those things that just felt like it mattered to me. We discussed it way before we got engaged, and I had time to think about it, and I realized I wanted to take his last name, and keep my maiden name as my middle name. So, I dropped the “Lee.”

It’s not easy to change your name, but it is even harder to change your middle name. Here in Massachusetts, I have to petition the court to change my middle name. It wasn’t THAT hard to change my last name – just a lot of paperwork and money exchanged – but to change my middle name, I have to ask the local court. And, the local court is still closed due to Covid, so I have to figure all this stuff out via the interwebs and google and sending smoke signals. It is not easy.

And, I had no idea I had to do this until I went to get my new driver’s license and the unfriendly, snarky woman at the counter told me I had to petition the court. Go figure. Combined with the women who greeted me, declaring, “I told my daughter to never change her name because of a man,” I tried really hard not to question my decision.

So, my new social security card has my new name on it. But, it isn’t recognized by the state I live in, so the country I live in allows me to embrace my new initials “JRB,” but to MA, I’m still just old “JLB.” My old name is a distant memory. But wait? My new license has my full new name. I’m so confused.

It is the whole concept of rules for rule’s sake. We want a tiny portion of control over your freedom.

Let’s probe deeper beyond this superficial stuff, though. Imagine changing your name at 46? It’s been my identity my whole life. And then it’s just different. It feels like a bit of betrayal to my folks. Hey, I’ve been your daughter by name my whole life, but now, I belong to someone else. It’s a bit archaic, right? But the good news is that I made this decision (along with Ted). I could have kept my last name as it was, and left it at that. But, I wanted the same last name as Ted. It was a choice – barbaric or not – it was my choice.

Anyhow, I’ll keep you posted on how that visit to court goes!

How you doin'?

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