For 22 years I had a name.
And then one day I got married. I had broached the subject of keeping my maiden name and the idea was met with general hysterics and displeasure. So because it’s traditional for the wife to change her name and because I cave fairly easily, I took my husband’s name.
I had a new name. And that’s the name I used for 13 years as a married woman.
Then my husband wanted a new life. He went off and did his own thing while I clung to my children. Things got really foggy. The kids were my tether and kept me from drifting off into the fog.
There was a lawyer. He handed me a boxes of tissues and said things like “You can’t get blood from a stone. ” He asked if I wanted to go back to my maiden name when it was all over.
I decided to keep my married name. I’d have the same name as my kids. We’d be a family. It was easier. It was neater. Fewer questions would be asked that I didn’t want to answer.
Now, 14 years after my divorce, I’m going back to my maiden name. My kids are grown and it no longer matters if we have the same last name. There’s no reason to use it any longer and it seems important to be rid of it. Like keeping it somehow identifies me with my failed marriage.
I have to ask a judge for permission, and swear and affirm the truthfulness of my claims, swear that I have no ulterior or illegal purpose for filing a petition for a name change.
And then it will be done and I’ll be me and not the ghost of a woman who thought she’d be someone’s true love forever.