Thursday, February 3, 2011

going back to my roots...?

I tend to go through phases of 'obsessions'. Poor Nic knows this, and has grown to accept it. Example: The last month spent looking, frenzied, at wedding dresses. Dress after dress after dress. And my problem is that I'll settle on something... I'll say:
Yes! This is what I like! I feel happy with this. Done! I'll stop looking.
And then something nags at me. Or I get curious. And I look a little more.
And a little more.
And a bit more...
Until I'm full-blown back into trawling galleries of dresses, peering at designers, lauding the benefits of this neckline or sleaves or trains vs. no trains, etc.
It seems to have waned a little for the moment, at least on the dress hunt. I'm sure it'll be back (though am still loving the Wai Ching Athena dress - see the ideas page)... just right now, it's settled.
For now, anyway.
But my new, most recent obsession, is the what-do-I-do-with-my-name-when-we-get-married dilemma.

I mentioned here how at the wedding last week, the toast to Mr. & Mrs. Newlastname irked me in some way I couldn't really explain. I think that the wedding posed the question to me, and I haven't been able to shake it, of what we're going to do.
The thing is, I've already changed my name once.

So my parents divorced when I was 16. As I've written, Dad said he never wanted to see Mum again, Mum 'moved on', and ended up changing back to her maiden name. At 18, I felt like I didn't really have much to do with Dad's side of the family/Dad's name/whatever and was more connected to Mum's side of the family, and that I, too, would take her maiden name. Maybe it was a bit of subconscious teenage rebellion against my Dad who left, or the fact that I rarely saw him & had developed a stronger relationship with Mum during that time...
Anyway, I changed my name, and didn't tell Dad. I was scared he'd be angry, or upset, or disappointed, and he probably was. He found out eventually, somehow, and never said anything about it, I don't think.
Nic comes along and we live with Mum for a while. Some sh-- goes down*, Nic says something Mum doesn't like about a nursing home, and since then, that side of the family haven't liked him so much.
Alternatively, when Nic and I had been dating for only a couple of months, Dad paid for both our airfares to Townsville to come visit him, Nic was accepted and welcomed with open arms, and has been with every family member on Dad's side that he's met. Completely opposite reactions. Similarly, when I told Dad that Nic & I were engaged, even though I figured him to be anti-marriage, he was genuinely happy for us. Really happy. Mum was shocked. And pretended happiness. See where we're going here?

So now I'm thinking; You know, it's been fine, being Emily MumsMaidenName for the last 6 years... But... maybe I don't want it any more. I feel in a way that I'm being a spoilt child, that I can just flounce around changing names willy-nilly...
But the other thing is, is that my current surname has some fairly strong Jewish connections. I can't remember if I've mentioned it here or not, but I am, technically, Jewish, but don't relate to/know anything about/have anything to do with the religion, and although nobody has ever gone "Oh! Surname! You must be Jewish!" or made any sort of notice of it, I am aware of it**.
All that being said, and the fact that I don't think I just want to be Mrs. Nic'sSurname, and he doesn't want to be Mr. Mysurname, and hyphenating our two names is long and cumbersom, and the fact that I'm feeling less and less connected to that part of the family, and although not more connected to Dad's necessarily, it's who I was, it's who I was when I met Nic, as well! It's not just something I've made up... I like the way Mr & Mrs. Myoldsurname-NicsSurname sounds (I know, this is all very hypothetical for you reading but in the interests of neither of us being stalked more than we need to be, I'm trying to keep at least our surnames private!)... and I worry a bit about what Mum's side of the family will think/say, but at the same time, it's just changing back. Surely me taking my husband's name would be more offensive (especially since a) they don't like him, and b) it'd be dropping any semblance to my identity, now or then)... except that it's the norm to do that.
Then I read this great post over at Ms., not Mrs., which ends with her hyphenating her name even though it sounds 'cumbersom', because it's what she wants to do... And so I'm thinking... Stuff it! I'll do what I want to do, too!
Even though it's not that easy, I have 2 years to come to terms with the idea, and 2 years to get my Mum and the family used to it, as well.

In other news, I got an SMS from Dad's partner S this morning saying "we r ok". Hopefully the house and everything else is, as well.

*Which reminds me, I said I was "all up in someone's grill" the other day, which is so just a normal thing for me to say, having picked it up from some International Students a couple of years ago, they used to listen to rap... and Nic and I use it as a joke with each other when we're invading each other's personal space, which, as affianced (is that the right word?) is really difficult, as you can imagine. Anyway, I said it at work and got totally slammed. Like: Don't ever say that, that's the lamest thing I've ever heard you big lame head, you're a a loser. :(
**I can also thank Mum's paranoia here, which goes; "Don't tell anyone you're Jewish! Even in today's society there is still a lot of anti-semitism!" Which goes hand in hand with "Don't let people know how much money you have! Ever!!" Which has made Nic's job awesomely awesome as he tries to get me to discuss money issues with him as my future husband. Ha.

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