The Name Game

When the conversation eventually turns to wedding business it is telling to see who asks what I will wear and who asks if I will change my name.

Names are so important.

I relish place names with odd provenance. I make up names for characters in books I will never write. I cherish the sounds of my family tree, rustling back through the ages.

And if I find spiritual restitution in naming our car you can only guess how seriously I take my own moniker.

BUT (there is always a but) I am not someone who feels intricately bound to the name given to me at birth. I’ll still be me, whatever I choose to call myself — and there is something particularly independent in taking a name of my own in place of the one I was handed.

BUT I don’t see the point in swapping a perfectly good name, one I have made my own, for something random. This name of mine bears meaning from all the years I have worn it; all the things I have done, the pages published with this byline, and all the people I share it with. I don’t want to discard it thoughtlessly.

BUT I like the idea of signifying my new baby family with a new family name. I want my partner and I and our theoretical future children to share a name. That we are one family, united and unified, literally and metaphorically.

BUT I take serious umbrage at the idea I should resign my given name and taking up his in some old fashioned possessive claptrap. I am not losing one family to become subservient to another thankyouverymuch.

BUT I find complex double-barreled names a false compromise. It’s a single generation solution at best, usually they sound poncy and insipid and more often than not result in downright tongue-twisters.

We have talked about him taking my name; me taking his. Both of us making up something wholly new and our own. Both of us adopting old family names that have died out. Trying to anagram something new from our existing ones, even spelling them backward.

And still I come up answerless.

I am glad I was born into a world of choice and knowledge and the freedom to make my own meanings (and I am glad I have the savvy, thought-provoking reading of A Practical Wedding people to show I’m not to only one with blissful hurdles).

But sometimes I have to wonder if I just overcomplicate everything by trying to find nominal perfection.


4 Responses to “The Name Game”
  1. throckmorzog says:

    I think “Mr and Mrs XzyXzybahloobah” sounds pretentious — unless you spell it “Zyzzybalubah” as our ancestors did, in which case it imparts just the right je ne said quoi without the post-playhouse-hipster overtones. Just sayin’


  2. Emma Jane says:

    I stand by my suggestion of Mr & Mrs Awesome. What’s not to like?


  3. I agree with Greggo. I vote for Sara Xzyxzybahloobah


  4. greggo says:

    I think “xzyxzybahloobah” is a strong candidate for a joint moniker. Just sayin’


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