22 March 2006

Ain't Worth the Stink II: What's in a Name?

In my first marriage, I kept my surname. Call it providence, call it premonition, but I knew I needed to keep my name. Which made it vastly easier to reassert myself when it all came tumbling down. As for my first name, my Ex had a nickname for me that was an abbreviation of my full name, that nobody liked. Even the sound was a little irritating. Fast forward to second marriage. Well, second dating. Jason, within weeks of our first meeting, began calling me Ree. Ree! Try saying it without a little smile or a squeak entering your voice. If you try to yell it, glower it, say it menacingly, the ending vowel sound twists, and it isn't Ree any more, it's something else. Ree somehow stuck. All kinds of people don't even know my birth name, because Ree is more.... well, it's way more who I am now. And then, there's the last name. I knew, deeply, that I wanted to be a Unified Front with Jason. And that meant we had to have the same last name. It just felt right. And during that time, between Marriage 1 and Marriage 2, I'd realized that actually, the Fergusons I come from are a pretty miserable band of folks (who are almost without exception dead, and so utterly beyond offence at anything I write here.) I only know one other Ferguson, my pal Daymon, whose blog is linked to in the left nav here. Hella funny guy. He and I used to bag on our banjo-picking pinchmark white-trash ancestors with abandon. Fun stuff...but I digress. I was stoked to end my line of Fergusons with my marriage. Tah-dah! Ferguson eradication! Imagine my chagrin and dismay when the two worlds merged, horribly, on a credit card solicitation (I'm beginning to think they're portals to hell, dropped in bulk shipment.) Ree Ferguson. Ugh! Ugh ugh ugh! Even typing it gives me the creepies. The symbol of my survival and triumph, paired with, well, the symbol of my colorfully alcoholic and wildly disfunctional ancestors. Concurrently enraged and chagrined, I set out to trace the heinous pairing back to its source. Oh goodness. Seems I'd left traces of my old name all over the place. My PADI instructor card. My REI membership. My freaking credit report (speaking of a hellmouth. But yet again, I digress). I've been a Hudson for nearly six years at this point, but there were still all these weird little lingering bits of... well, of trapped energy. Trapped in the past, anchoring some little bit of me back there. It's been really illuminating, figuring out which Items of the Name to eradicate with tactical nuclear devices, and which things to take out, dust off, pretty up, and replace within the structure of my new (real?) life. Bits of me I see fit to nurture, bits of me that died along the way. Cleaning house this deeply feels really good. I feel all kinds of psychic dust bunnies being swept out of corners they've lurked in for, well, six years, and I'm applying hairspray and a match to the lot of them. I suppose on the mercantilist upside, at least from here on, I can tell the charming operators on the "Do Not Contact" phones exactly how out of date the lists they're purchasing are.


At 3/30/2006 02:36:00 AM, Blogger Simply Janeen said...

I can identify a little bit. I have one of those unusual last names: Lo Piccolo. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to get rid of that name or not when I became engaged as my husband to be's last name was White. Talk about blah. Lo Piccolo spoke of heritage and ancestry; it reminded me of where I came from. White was well...nothing. It was about as individual as Smith. It was not unusual or unique, it was common. So at first, I was unsure about letting go of that name that to me, sort of defined who I was. Then my father committed murder (no I'm not kidding, he really did) and all of a sudden, Lo Piccolo was the last name I wanted to have; it was just a little too uncommon and as we were the only family in my town with that name, people quickly figured out that I was related to a murderer. So, I bumped my wedding date up and within 15 weeks became a White. I haven't regretted it since. But, I still see Lo Piccolo lurking around here and there and I agree, it's quite bothersome seeing that old name pop up from nowhere. It just makes you cringe. Not only that, but it's really hard to misspell White. lol

At 3/30/2006 03:20:00 PM, Blogger LadySeduction said...

I liked my old last name, but it came with old husband number 1 so husband number 2 wasn't so thrilled for me to keep it. It was a cool name tho....ICE.....LOL

Now my kids have two different last names and it gets complicated and weird. I didn't like my maiden name either....Ice felt like it fit best, isn't that strange? I still don't feel like a Thornton.

Hey and Thanks for adding me to your lovely little blogroll!

At 4/06/2006 10:55:00 AM, Anonymous Dana said...

I thought about ditching my last name when I divorced, but I've been a Nourie so much longer than I was a Killeaney. None of my teachers could ever correctly pronounce Killeaney, it's long, and all my writing has Nourie attached to it. It also seems to fit me better numerologically speaking than my maiden name.

But sometimes, I feel like changing my last name to something that matches my roots better. Killeaney is Irish, and though I do have a bit of Irish in me, I'm 80% Scandanavian, a Northern Girl all the way.

I get sick of people asking me if my husband is Indian. In India Nouri means from the light. But my name is Nourie, not Nouri, and Nourie is French Canadian, which I'm not in any shape or form.

Maybe oneday I'll change my name to Anderson, since I have Anderson's on both sides of my family.

Dana Anderson Hmmmm

At 4/13/2006 10:10:00 PM, Anonymous Bryan said...

Yeah, well...
Occasionally people recognize my surname as the same as the man who created Aparthied in South Africa. Talk about bad associations.


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