“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”
Name that quote.
It’s John Proctor from The Crucible. If you don’t know that quote, you are an uneducated fool. Just kidding. But no, seriously. Go pickup the play, The Crucible. It’s my favorite play.
Speaking of names, it’s quite ironic. As a kid, I hated my name. No one could pronounce it. Gukad. Gackad. Gukud. Guhkaid. Gaykaid. “As soon as I get married, I’m changing my last name if it’s the first thing I do,” I announced to anyone who’d listen.
Now, the tide has turned. Call it brand recognition. Call it name equity. Call it Google. Who’s going to know me as anyone other than Catherine Gacad??? I’ve been set on keeping my name. And remember, I AM middle-aged. Maybe if this were five years ago, I would have been fine taking my husband’s last name. But I’m middle-aged. I’m old. I’ve got a lot riding on my name.
I asked Dean his thoughts without giving my opinion. “So do you believe in the woman taking on the man’s last name?”
“Absolutely! It’s tradition. Why not? That’s the way it should be. Can you imagine our kids having a different last name from yours. That’s so weird and dumb.”
I held my tongue. Later we talked about it. “Look, it would have been different maybe a few years ago. But I have a lot of brand recognition with my name. It’s not like I was able to establish myself as a writer with the name of Catherine Barbella. That’s just not who I am, at least not now. And there are a lot of other reasons, too. I mean, at work, I’m known as Catherine Gacad. And in my family, there’s no male to carry on the name.”
He agreed with reservation. I conceded, “When we have kids, I’ll hyphenate.”
“Aghhh, that’s the worst. I hate that.”
Would love to hear what others think about this topic. Publish your comments so we can all see.