What’s My Name?

When I got married, I had the distinct pleasure of going from being a Smith to a Jones.  It was such a major step up, I didn’t even want to change my name.  It didn’t make much of a difference to me, but it did to my future ex-husband.  My last name was one of the only things he had a strong opinion about in the whole marriage thing.

Well, that and a chair he had pictured “in his mind,” which he couldn’t describe or draw for me, so we fought about it for three years because I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t describe or draw something that was in his head.  He would “know it when he saw it.”  And he finally saw it, two years later when the chair was long forgotten.  It was a chaise.  And it never would’ve fit in the space we had.

What's My Name?

Back to my name.  I held out as long as possible before changing my name officially; waiting until my driver’s license expired before starting the process.  And I went from being Angela Smith, to being Angela Jones.  I always joked that I was going to hyphenate it.

And then one day I got divorced.  Keeping your ex-husband’s last name is a lifetime reminder of a failed marriage.  As much fun as living with your estranged husband in the same house for three months.  But then I think of my daughter, the reason I’m keeping the name {too confusing her being Jones, me being Smith} and it’s also a reminder that I get to be her mom.

Her friends and teachers know me as Mrs. Jones.  When I’m called that, it makes me pause.  It always has.  It’s like I’m waiting for my former mother-in-law to appear, only she doesn’t even have that last name herself anymore.

It never felt like me.

When you’re in a relationship, it’s only natural that you make concessions for your partner.  Eventually, though, some of those concessions become automatic and you do them subconsciously.  The same thing happens when you become a mother.  A wife and a mother?  You don’t know who the fuck you are!  And then one day you wake up 17 years later, and you’re like, what the heck just happened?

Ironically, this may be part of the reason your marriage fell apart, because you’re not the person he fell in love with anymore.  Then again, the reason you changed was because of the relationship.  Oh, it’s a tangled web we weave…

These days, I have been working on another reminder.  A reminder of the girl I used to be.  The one who walked into a room and held it in her hand; one of the reasons her ex-husband fell in love with her.  I’ve been slowly piecing her back together, and I’m almost there, but she’s definitely Angela Smith.

She’s older and wiser than her former self.  She wears her heart on her sleeve, she is loyal, she feels all the feels at ten times what a normal person would, she cries at commercials, she has a filthy mind, she uses a lot of swear words, she has a kind heart, but at the same time, she will cut you if you fuck with her or anyone in her tribe.  She is equal parts Madonna and Princess Diana.  She is me.

So, what’s my name?  It’s whatever I want it to be.  Just don’t call me Mrs. Jones {unless your initials are TC and you’re using it in a hashtag.}

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