Friday, March 6, 2009

Who's name is it?

I first came up with "Lisa Who?" as my blog name because I didn't know what to do with my name. I was getting a divorce but I didn't want to go back to my old last name. That somehow seemed like moving backwards. It's also a really long process to change your name; all identification, credit cards, bank accounts, social security, all my school transcripts. I'm sure I'd miss something somewhere.
My students have been calling me by my last name only for the past ten years. I prefer it to "Miss" which is common. I also prefer it to "Ms.(first initial of my last name)". I think that's tacky. Ms. B, or Mr. A...there are many of them, and then the students never remember what your real last name is.
Also, I like my new name. I think it's pretty and I like pretty so I'd like to keep it.
So, when we decided to divorce I asked my then husband if it was okay with him if I kept my last name. He was a little surprised. He thought that would be the first thing I did but he replied that it would be his honor if I kept it.
This morning we were to finalize our divorce in court but the judge didn't like the way our papers read and so we are still married.
The morning started out badly. My soon-to-be-ex and I had a difference of opinion on the wording of the paperwork and he wanted me to make some changes. I reacted badly and he reacted to my reaction. I'll leave it at that.
We pulled it together and made it to the courtroom a little late. The clerk scolded us on not having everything organized. She was right. We waited until almost last and when we approached the bench the judge had a lot of questions that we simply could not answer completely enough for her. She told us to get a lawyer and come back. As we were waiting for the clerk to assign us a new date my ex turned to me and asked, "can I have my name back?"
I wasn't really sure what he said, so I asked, "what?"
"Can I have my name back?"
Yep, that's what I thought he said. I looked at him confused and asked, "you want me to have that put in the paperwork also?"
"No, forget it."
I was reeling already from the events of the morning and this, frankly, was a slap in my face. Here's why:
Before we married I had a really nice signature. That's right, signature. It had evolved over the years into a reflex of a thing to sign on checks, hall passes and my art work. With the new name I had to re-work it. I spent hours trying to get the new name to flow the same way the old name did and look as pretty as the old one did, look as pretty as the new one sounded.
Over the past ten (now going on eleven) years I have watched my husband's signature evolve into basically the same signature as mine. I'm not exaggerating. He's basically copied the exact way I sign "his" last name. He's eliminated his middle initial and made his first name less legible and more about his first initial. Just like mine.
So, if he asks again I think I might have to reply, "you can have it if I can have my signature back."
Is that petty?


Anonymous said...

Yes! Very petty.
Let it GO.
This really is not about him, it's about YOU. Do you want him lingering with you *front and center* for the rest of your life? Get rid of it. It's not backward, it's a new start. And isn't that what you desire?

jbl said...

I have to agree with anonymous. Sorry, Lis, but I do. Does his signature really mean so much to you that it's worth fighting over? Or at this point, is it even worth mentioning?

Remember the reasons why you took his surname in the first place: joining your lives, becoming a family, etc. You took off his ring; taking off his name is the last step to completely starting your new life.

You are on your way, girl. Finish it right.

Stephen said...

I think it's tacky to keep an ex's name, especially if there aren't any kids involved (obviously, who share that last name). Even if it's "pretty," why would you even WANT to?
But do what you must...

mmd said...

petty, yes.

Frank.Sugar&Spice said...

Look forward woman. I would love to be able to be there to talk to you.

You are beautiful, your name is beautiful and you need to realize that and I am sure you will eventually.

Forget the baggage, look for a new way of signing your new "old" name. Start exploring for "new" all over again.

goofyteacher said...

I loved the way you use to sign your name - the pretty L's. I know a blog is out there for people to comment on - but it;s your choice. So don't listen to the strangers, or even me, ( I always like to hear from Frank :) ), just do what is best for you - you will know.

Frank.Sugar&Spice said...

Hey, who is goofy-teacher?

goofyteacher said...

Hi Frank, I prefer to keep my identity private out in blogland, but here's a hint. You came to visit me with Lisa and your significant others at U of I to see Naked Raygun. :)

Frank.Sugar&Spice said...

Hi Goofy,

Yeah, I remember that trip. See you in Facebook!

By the way, I found another Naked Raygun fan in Buenos Aires. I know, nothing to do with the blog subject, but you brought them up first indirectly.

jk said...

Have you decided what you are doing with your last name? (Someone's birthday is coming up and I would like to know to whom I should address the card!)
Are you divorced yet?

lisawho? said...

Still married. :(