She's Got Words

February 27, 2012

You May Now…Change Your Name

Filed under: love & marriage — Gigi @ 2:25 pm

I am now faced with the conundrum every woman deals with when she gets married: to change, or not to change, my legal name.  Honestly, the choice of surnames has already been made; I’ll be known as “Glaze Kolbe” legally, gladly, and forever more.  It is important to me to have “Glaze” remain a last name for me since I am the only one of us left, but it is also just as important for “Kolbe” to be a part of my name, too, as a mark of familial solidarity in my married home.  If I ever have a child they will be given both names as a show of respect for their lineage; as an acknowledgement of the blending of our two families as one.  I just hope that said imaginary baby will be proud to carry both names…but I suppose I’m getting the embryo before the zygote as it were. 

The moral dilemma comes into play, however, with my Christian name, “Brandy”.  I’ve not been “Brandy” for well over 15 years now and no one really knows me as such any more, save my family back in Tennessee and a few close friends from my youth.  I discussed dropping my Christian name in favour of a simple initial (B. Nicole Glaze Kolbe) with my mother and she nearly had a stroke. She laid the Jewish/Irish guilt on so thick that I quickly relented just to hush her up.  “That is the name I gave you- it is who you are to me and I can’t imagine you ever being anything else! It would be like denying a part of who you are to drop your Christian name! Why would you want to do that to me? Are you that ashamed of who you are?”  The way she went on and on, you’d think “Brandy” was a long standing family name with deep roots and history instead of the bleary eyed choice of a woman hopped up on so many pain killers she could barely say her own name the day I was born.  

All my young life I was “Brandy, you’re a fine girl, what a good wife you would be!”, or “Brandy Glaze- hehehehe, that’s a great name for a stripper!”, or my all time personal favourite “Brandy Glaze, isn’t that a candied ham?”  I willfully stopped going by “Brandy” when I turned 18 in order to avoid the carry over of my youthful torment into my college life. “Brandy” is a distant memory of my past and “Nicole” is who I am now.  I suppose I can understand the hurt my mom would feel at the possible permanent rejection of her chosen name for her baby girl, but even with the possibility of sending my mother in to a complete melt down looming I am still tempted to make the break from “Brandy” for good.  

Anyone else ever had this type of issue?  What do you all think of dropping a useless monicker from a legal name?  Do you think it is really as insulting as my mother is making it out to be?  Any compromised you can think of here that I’m missing?

Gimme yer thoughts, y’all.  

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