`When me and my wife got married, it was pretty much something we both thought was a good idea and something we both mutually wanted. In fact, for the most part, there was only one snag that we weren’t a fan of, the name change.
It was something that I never put much value into, I never really understood why it had to happen. And she was of the belief (a belief I later learned and adopted willingly) that the wife changes her name to that of the grooms to denote ownership. I’m not really a fan of owning people. Sorry white ancestors. *shrugs*
But we did realize that if we ever planned on having children (which, boy am I glad we planned for that if you read my last blog) it would be much easier if there was a mutual name. Upon much thought, we realized that my name is a complicated word jumble and her’s is a twelve car pile up and that, if we ever fulfilled our dreams of writing, it would be much handier to have a name that someone could ask for at the counter of a book store. Or McDonald’s or whoever’s the only place to get books from in the future.
Plus, we thought it was a sweet idea as we’re symbolically starting a new life together. So why not start a new life with a new name? So we found a character in one of our mutually favorite books and, when we saw it, knew that was it.
All the paperwork went through and I handled it pretty well. You know me, I don’t let important moments hit me until it’s 3AM and I’m in a position to just be completely blindsided by anxiety. In fact, if I remember correctly, I was more caught up in showing my wife exactly where (in the Cleveland courthouse building) Loki had stabbed the German guy in the eye in the Avenger’s film than I was turning in my papers.
Of course, as time goes on, I get thoughts. Especially now that my name change was finalized at work this week. Once my coworkers saw that a man had changed his name, the questions came rolling in. One in particular.
“What do your parents think?”
That’s a question that’s floating through the grey matter of mind like a butterfly, playfully just out of reach as I try to grasp at it. What WOULD they think? Obviously, I haven’t told them yet. I have a newborn to deal with and a busy complex life to worry about without their opinions hopping on my back like some sort of over packed tourist who’s mistaken my unkempt form for that of a ride-able camel.
I know the answer is that, more than likely, my dad will be bothered. After all, I have the only son in the family and supposedly he is to be the carrier of the name. Though, my dad told my wife, supposedly, that he doesn’t care whose name the kid has. But I know that can’t possibly be true because life is not easy like that. Life makes it look easy, like it’s just there, in front of you, clear as day and just as soon as you accept that it is, you find its raptor buddies have been flanking you, ready to pounce on you before you can say so much as “clever girl.”
But WHY would they be bothered? Obviously, the family tree would probably be better off growing if I was “pruned” from it. To most of the family, my particular branch is probably withered and blackened and ready to fall off anyways. Hell, as far as most of the family is concerned, I might as well be producing a completely different fruit than the rest of the tree. A plum branch in an apple tree if you will.
My parents have never been proud of me, and rightfully so. Beyond landing an amazing wife and having an incredibly handsome child, the rest of my life has been a complete disaster. My teaching career went no where. My coffee house may as well have grown wings and flown into the goddamn sun. And I spent seven years of my life dumping all of the money I was making (at a time when I was making a lot of money) on a wayward shrew who wore the mask of my girlfriend at the time. And don’t even get me started on my temporary addiction to alcohol. Good christ.
No, I’ve always been more than a black sheep to them. I’ve been the black sheep that accidentally got the other sheep sick and then died in the driveway behind the passenger side car tire. Of course, unbeknownst to them, my lack of career has been partially my fault as that part of my brain that should contain a work ethic merely contains an undying need to write and express myself, but to my family, if I explained that, I’d just come off as that young prince in Monty Python’s Holy Grail that just…that just…wants…to siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.
But I digress.
I’m not upset about the name change, and, legally, I’m not even detached from the family tree. One of the reasons there’s so much legal rigmarole is so that they can tie your new identify with the previous family so that they can keep tabs on where you came from. So, the history is still there and…honestly, it’s nothing that crazy. It’s just a name. A failure by any other name would still smell oddly of non-hypoallergenic deodorant.
After all this, you’re probably wondering if I regret it. Absolutely not. I like the new name. I liked my old name as well. But I liked the new name because, for the first time, it’s mine. It’s actually mine and something I did. It’s something that, as I sit in a house in my father’s name in front of a TV my dad bought, on a computer my wife fixed, this is something that, quite literally, has my name written all over it.
It’s even inspired me to start writing again, though, as you’re sitting there reading this textual representation of hot air, you clearly can tell that without me having to say that. But maybe it’ll inspire me to write other things. Finally finish one of my books. Finally start one that would actually sell. Get one of my scripts done. Make a connection in Hollywood that ISN’T a piece of shit and won’t be put off in helping me network a little bit. (Now I’m just turning that into a rant)
But, as much as people are not going to like it, I have a new name, I love it and it’s honestly who I am. And you know what? If you don’t like it…that’s ok, when I throw the first annual (insert last name here) Family Reunion you won’t be invited anyways.
(NOTE: I’m not saying my new name because this finally gives me the chance to not have it all over every point of the internet. If you know it, refrain from mentioning it in the comments. Thanks bunches.)