Your name or his when you're married or divorced? Which do your choose?
Have you ever secretly wanted to try on a different name for size? Would a new name give you a different identity or a different feeling about yourself? Sophia instead of Blueberry, perhaps? If you could, what name would you choose? If you like the idea of stepping into the shoes of a new name, then you’re going to get your chance on April 9, National Name Yourself Day. Of course, you only get to do it for 24 hours but there are no strings attached and no red tape.
Here’s why I ‘m thinking I might give it a try.
My mother had the fabulous idea to give me a beautiful name with initials that spelled DEW, the first precious source of water and nourishment on a fresh new day. Birth. Renewals. New Beginnings. There is something magical to me about dew. I identify with it. I love the coolness of it and the gloriously stunning macro photos of dewdrops. I collect the legends of people gathering dew in the fields before sunrise. I have imagined gently whisking dewdrops into the palm of my hand and tricling them into a beautiful vial hanging on a long artisan chain around my neck. DEW.
When I got married to my French husband, I took his name Dutilh, and although this was a lovely sounding alliteration on both ends of my first and last name, I also intuitively wondered if it might not be some kind of omen. In the space of a ceremony, blessing and signature with witnesses, my initials went from DEW to DED.
When my husband and I decided to divorce, I actually looked forward to going back to my maiden name and lovely initials. However, when the attorney asked me if I wanted to go back to my maiden name, this unknown voice blurted out, “NO!” Why would I want to do that? My husband agreed when he could have refused to let me keep his name. Had I said “Yes” it would have been irrevocable.
My name is quirky, soft, challenging to pronounce for many and it keeps my French soul alive. Native English speakers are flummoxed by the silent H at the end and I am frequently called Deb Duluth, bringing some recognition to the Midwestern city and a all knowing smile to my face...another one who is going to apologize and repeat it back to me several times in a polite effort to properly pronounce my name.
Today I have no regrets. I use my maiden name initials as an artist Dew Dutilh which suits me perfectly. While I know there are many women named Deborah Weiss, there are no other Deborah Dutilhs to my knowledge and in Google searches. And who doesn’t want to be unique, after all?
And so my friends, perhaps I will try out my maiden name on April 9 and see how it feels after more than 3 decades of being Madame Dutilh.What about you? If secretly want to change your name and try on a new one for size, what would you name yourself and why? I would love to hear your answers.
Happy Name Yourself Day!