08.14.08: cotton*

when i was a kid, i knew exactly one woman who kept her maiden name and a few more who hyphenated their maiden and married names.** i myself was of the "doodling my first name with various imaginary boyfriends' last names in my trapper keeper" school of thought, and always assumed i'd Make That Change, as michael jackson would say. i then moved out of super-conservative orange county and, eventually, to the land of professional writers, where changing your name means forfeiting your old bylines and masthead appearances (and many of my colleagues have both professional and personal names, like rock stars and spies). i stuck with my plan, though: we were going to look like a family on envelopes, by god, and i would finally get to ditch my middle name (i was going to replace it with my maiden name). i practiced my new signature and resigned myself to a new monogram (one's last name can't always begin with a vowel).

then joe totally shut me down at city hall. he'd made noise about being less than eager for me to change my name (his is a pain in the ass to spell, he said; why welcome that chaos?), but i figured he'd have a change of heart when we got down to filling out the paperwork. actually, no became NO. my fiancé bullied me into keeping my name: i can't even do the post-post-feminist math on that one.

so here i am, two years after deciding to remain the lauren i was*** - on paper, at least. appearances (and papers) are nothing, of course, but i'm wearing the lace top i wore downtown that day (and to a lunch i can barely remember, for i was blown away every time i looked across my impromptu bouquet at joe and my mom: my husband! and his mother-in-law!). we were truly married a week later when we stood before everyone in oxford, to be sure, but i won't lie: the part of me that doodled my name back then gets a kick out of today, too.

*that "how to buy a second-year wedding anniversary gift" page is the bomb: the "things you'll need" list includes chardonnay and "credit cards and loans."

**i am still tempted to do this with the cats' names, especially since they both have really long names as is. then again, my vet already has plenty of reasons to think i'm a few slow jams short of a prom.

***on the third anniversary of the biggest blackout in north america.

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