As a small defenceless infant, I was burdened with an unusual name with a heady mix of similar-sounding letters. This has meant I’ve forever had to use the military alphabet whenever making reservations over the phone (which, quite frankly, always makes me sound a little like a Whiskey-Alpha-November-Kilo-Echo-Romeo). But when faced with the opportunity of changing my name through marriage, I thought to myself “I’ve got this far with this name. It’s who I am and who I will always be. And I should see it through!” – martyr to the pointless cause that I am.
At the time of my marriage, a friend of mine pointed out that, should I have kids one day, those poor afflicted creatures would have to deal with all the confusion at school of their mum not having the same surname. I remember saying that if that was the hardest thing they had to deal with, then I should expect that they were doing pretty well. And in any case, it was fairly rich advice coming from this friend, whose surname was [Smith] and had ended up marrying another [Smith] and so got the best of both worlds: she took on her husband’s name whilst retaining her own. And all without filling in a single Change of Personal Details form. Pah!
Anyway, for some reason or another, I recently found myself explaining to the children about how their mummy, rather than become (say) Blah-blah [Husband’s Surname] when she married their daddy, had chosen to remain Blah-Blah [Maiden Name]. (And yes, Blah-Blah Maiden Name is my real name, which probably explains all the confusion when giving it over the phone.)
Anyway, upon hearing all this, Mr Justice exclaimed “As usual!”. Which I initially took as a comment on the general obstreperous nature of his mother. But after some rigorous interrogation, I found out that he simply meant that I had just remained as I “usually had been”.
“When I grow up, I…. I….” the Pixie started, in a little speech that I anticipated to be one of those Proud Mothering Moments when a daughter professes to want to be just like her mummy some day. “…I want to be a cowboy and bake eggs!”.
An egg-baking cowboy? Of course! We all aspire to being one of those – especially me, since they probably wouldn’t have to spell their names over the phone that often, right? My daughter is a genius.