Saturday, January 28, 2012

Of Albatrosses and Other Weighty Matters

Photo by Daryl Edelstein of Through My Eyes and On the m104: Out & About In New York City

Well this is cool. I had already posted this snippet, and then clicked my way along to Fireblossom's prompt at Real Toads, which is to select one of this talented photographer's photos and write about it. The tombstone photo is timely, two birds with one stone. This is not, in any way, a serious "poem" - just a funny thought or two I have around the weighty matter of my Name Which is Not My Name.

There is a slight dilemma about my last name.
It isnt mine.
It didnt fit me, even at the time.

I carry my ancient old hoary married name from 1966
like an albatross around my neck
that I am constantly flicking off.
I flicked off the marriage in 1972.
It appears I move slowly in dealing with the details.

First I kept it so my kids and I would have
the same last name  while they went through school.
I had hoped to spare them embarrassment.

Turns out they were far more embarrassed by ME,
and my generally eccentric behavior.

In recent years, the name has not worked for me AT ALL.
When forced to give it, I always add a disclaimer.
It may even be the source of my difficulties,
being incongruent with my spiritual and personal evolution,
but I have remained too impecunious
and terminally exhausted, to deal with changing it legally.

I have the name picked out that I want.
It is my grandma's name.

I have warned my family not to put my married name
on my tombstone, or I'll come back and haunt them.

I may come back and haunt them anyway,
just on general principles.

This has to be the year to tackle this important dichotomy
and claim the name that fits me.

The tombstone is creeping closer.
Every now and then,out of the corner of my eye,
I see it lurking.

An aside: Last night I dreamed that Pup and I had lost each other. We  couldnt find each other, though we were looking everywhere. But before I woke up, I found him, with great relief. I am taking that as an underlying message, and it comforts me.


  1. You and he will always find each other, you are tied by the invisible universal thread. I don't blame you for not wanting a name that you don't like or enjoy having. Good for you for not wanting it on your tombstone. Not for quite some time yet, too!

  2. Names are important, and everyone has an absolute right to be known by the name that feels harmonious for them. After all, I legally changed mine years ago, and have never regretted it for one single second.

    What a dream! it is significant, you know, that you did find him.

  3. I am so glad that you and Pup found one another in your dream....I think this is a good sign too. I don't blame you for choosing a name that you wish. No one should have a name that doesn't feel right.

  4. Not only my mother, but her sister and also my sister all had their names changed legally. I gather its no big thing. You need the last name one of my friends back in the day had--her name was J___ Bright. ;_)

  5. I agree. I kept my last when I got married because my last fits me and his doesn't. Love how your little essay fit one of the photos so well.

  6. Lovely fits the picture nicely. And nice dream about you and will always find it each other ~

    Happy weekend ~

  7. hehehehe, I like you're idea of coming "back to haunt them anyway, just on general principles." That'll teach 'em!

  8. It's such an archaic tradition for the wife to take the husband's name, and I hesitated long about whether I would do so, and in the end I did, so I'd have the same surname as my children, but when I write, I write as myself.

  9. I smiled at you "coming back to haunt them anyway, just on general principles."- brilliant. :-)

    Change it! Go ahead and just DO it. In the UK it is easy peasy to do - I changed mine! I picked one that felt right and went ahead and did it.

    A name says a lot and has its own vibration - (look into numerology.) - You owe it to yourself to pick one that feels right and use it. Don't put it off, it is important.

    What I did was got copies of the legal declaration from one of the many online sites that will tell you how to do it, then filled it in and made an appointment to get it signed, it was minimal cost.

    Sorry to have rambled! :-)- I hope you at least look into what it would take to do it.

    Susannah x

  10. I suppose a name is important. Everyone should have one they like.
    I prefer numbers myself:)

  11. Rallentanda has a good idea about numbers.
    In birth order in my family, I would be Number One.

  12. oh please change your name. it can't be that difficult to do or is it? i enjoyed this story ---

  13. I have issues with my married name too. Bach is mine, I don't use his in my creative sphere. But now I'm curious...what name have you chosen for yourself? Is it your blog name?

  14. Love this, Sherry. I too took my husband's name and kept it after we divorced, because this is what I realized: the name fit me perfectly. It was HIM that didn't.

    BTW, I have since remarried, but didn't take my new husband's name. I told everyone it was because I wanted my kids and I to have the same last name. Don't tell anyone, but it was really because the name just suited me. People commented, "oh, you're one of those 'independent' women, huh?" They don't know the half of it. :-)

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  17. I smile throughout...I understand wearing a name that doesn't fit very well.

  18. Ah to wear a name that doesn't fit...may this be the year you have the one that glad your dream had you and Pup united again.

  19. What a wonderful dream, at least in the end! You and Pup will always be together in spirit.

    It does sound like now is the time to make your name fit "you." Wearing the wrong name is like wearing clothes you're not comfortable in.

  20. I find the photo and the poem are perfectly paired .. and as to the name .. there are so many clever one-liners that come to mind but in the end I will tell you I once wanted to change my first name and not tell it to anyone so I wouldnt have to respond when it, the name, was called out ..

  21. Fantastic write! I've also threatened my family with coming back to haunt them just because, I don't think it made much of an impression though.

  22. Oh my ... Well first the poem which is a delightful take on a difficult topic .... and one close to my heart as well I...keep this mouthful of names and insist on it.... I suppose at some point in time we will all be simply a chosen first name followed by a number with perhaps a suffix attached to flag additional information such as cross referencing with another person.... Until that day we are left with this "albatross" which is more than a flippant Gertrude Stein ...a rose is a rose....and so forth... but rather a critical delineator of identity and history. ( if there is any doubt ask just about any married man how they would feel about having their wife's name upon marriage. Delighted to read
    this piece that softens the prickliness of this thorny issue...

  23. Quite a number of clever lines mixed in here. This mixes a bit of humor with seriousness in a very fine way. And then the zinger at the end...

    Every now and then,out of the corner of my eye,
    I see it lurking.

    Just loved that.

  24. So, Koko, you dupe us with a title like “Of Albatrosses and Other Weighty Matters”, confess that it is “not so weighty”? Strange. Ha ha.
    “I have the name picked out that I want.
    It is my grandma's name”

    First clue.

    “I have warned my family not to put my married name
    on my tombstone, or I'll come back and haunt them.

    I may come back and haunt them anyway,
    just on general principles”

    Second clue.

    Then pup.

    Third clue.

    It all fits now. Eureka!

  25. Interesting and thoughtful poem.. I do enjoy reading it...

    "What is in a name": name does matter! :D


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