Monday, December 17, 2012

What's in a Name?

Tonight's cocktail is the beer I had as soon as the bar nearest the Fairfax County Circuit Court opened for business last Monday morning. It's an Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale on draft. No, I don't make a habit of morning drinking, but this was a special circumstance.

My divorce hearing (after separating almost 4 years ago and undergoing a settlement process that was only slightly easier and more pleasant than plucking out every single hair on my body one by one with a pair of rusty tweezers) was last Monday. I feel incredibly relieved to have closure, finally, and despite anticipating that I might feel sad or wistful, I honestly didn't, which seems like a good sign that I did the right thing. I also decided to take back my original last name and never change it again. My new/old name is Gordon, a good Scots name, and we have a tartan and everything.
When I was a kid, I had a kilt made of this fabric. No kidding.
When I got married, I was 25 years old. For many, that's completely normal, but in my cohort, I was almost a teen bride. I also changed my name on the theory was that my original name was my father's name, so if I'd just be using some man's name in any case, what did it matter? Also, I didn't yet have a professional identity under my maiden name, and I was excited about being married because I thought it made me a real adult. Yeah, I know. I want to go back in time and slap me, too.

Preparing to use this new name feels odd, like walking into a house I abandoned 15 years ago and finding everything just as I left it. This new/old name will again be on my driver's license, passport, bank accounts, Social Security card, credit cards, business cards, everywhere. I have to start answering to it and remember how to sign it again. It's going to be a pain in the ass to get it all changed over, which made me reluctant to switch. But in the end, this new/old name symbolizes a retaking of things I cast aside when I didn't know I might want them later. After struggling to get those things back, I want some outward sign to remind me what I've achieved.


  1. I'm not sure congrats is the right term to use here, but taking your name back seems like a big deal to me! This makes me happy I chose to keep mine (even though it doesn't come with a tartan). Happy holidays!

    1. Thanks! I feel good about the decision, but it's going to take some getting used to!


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