I've always loved my first name. I've always felt that it fits me perfectly. I mean, what else could I possibly be named that would fit me just right?
I know that I don't often refer to myself on this blog by my real name, simply because I have raging paranoia, and sometimes I think that if I give out my name I'll have some crazy guy stalking me about five minutes later, and he will probably shove me into a van when I'm on one of my morning runs and then eat me for dinner, and then they will most likely make a Lifetime movie out of the situation, which would actually be kind of cool, except that I would be dead, and I'd rather not be dead when I'm famous. (I never said I was rational. Just paranoid.)
My name is Kerri. And I love it. (Even though it technically means "dark haired one", which I find slightly odd. I mean, really? Who came up with that? Why can't it have a cool meaning like, "she who has the soul of a wandering goddess" or "one who is prone to sporadic moments of delight" or "blue-eyed wonder"?) I haven't met very many Kerri's in my life (spelled that exact way) and whenever I do, I like to think that we share some sort of secret bond. A Sisterhood of Kerri's. Weird, I know. But, whatever. That's how I roll.
As for last names, my maiden name was short and sweet, as well. It was unique and easy to spell. After marriage, I went from a last name that was all of four letters, to a seriously intense, German last name that is eleven letters long and apparently confusing to pronounce, as I'm constantly correcting people: "Stiiiine. Not steeeen. Get it right, nancy."
I remember back when I first had a raging crush on Jay, but didn't know his last name. We worked together, and one day I waited until I was alone in the room with the scheduling book, and casually searched THE ENTIRE THING trying to figure out his full name. And, for the record, there were a lot of employees working on Main Street at Disneyland at that point. Like, hundreds. It took me a while. At one point, I regretted not making a sandwich beforehand.
Finally, I found it, and I was all, "REALLY? That is the most intense last name I've ever seen in my LIFE! Gah!" At this point, I was already entertaining thoughts of marriage and what names our children would have, even though he had yet to show any interest in me whatsoever, or even acknowledge my existence. (This type of thing was fairly usual. I'm not going to lie.) At that moment, I basically started practicing my new signature in my head, and didn't like what I saw. I mean, it had taken me nineteen years to perfect my signature, and I was really wondering if it would be physically possible to change it.
Well, a little over a year later, I had no choice. We were madly in love, and going to tie the knot. I was entirely too old fashioned to do the whole keep-my-own-last-name thing or the let's-hyphenate-it-to-make-things-fair thing. I would soon have an intense, long, often mispronounced, German last name. Soon, random customers at work would feel the need to speak to me in German, thinking I was fluent in my native tongue. Soon, it would take me a full twenty seconds to spell it out over the phone. Soon, I would be forced to change my adorable, tiny signature.
Is it terrible that I was really sad? I was literally mourning the loss of my last name.
Surprisingly enough, at this point, I absolutely adore my last name. It's an odd thing, really - it took me a while to really get used to it. (And to perfect my signature, which is something that is very important to an obsessively artistic perfectionist, such as myself.) At this point, I can't imagine my name being any other way. When I think of my maiden name, I think of myself as a little girl. I don't think of the person I am now, or my future. I know that it may be odd to put that much importance on a name, but that's just the way I am. When I think about it now, I love how my last name is his, and I love how having that last name connects me even more to his incredible family and heritage.
Granted, I won't be able to live out my fantasy of naming my first daughter Felicity, because with that name combined with a last name like ours, she won't be able to spell her name correctly until she is in the fifth grade or something. I guess I'm okay with that, though. If that's the worst of my problems, I guess I can deal with it.
And, anyway, you should see my signature. It's awesome.