I’ve said I have almost no regrets as to things I committed or omitted for my wedding. Well, here’s one of the few: not dropping a name on legal documents.
I wanted to take my husband’s name*, but I couldn’t bear the thought of dropping one of my names; with all the changes happening in my life right now, it felt like losing a piece of myself.
Well. One month and so much paperwork later, I heartily regret that decision. Having two middle names does not go well on any legal form ever created. The HR at my office assumed that I wanted it to read like a hyphenated last name:
Last: Pond Williams.*
Well, it isn’t. It’s Amy Williams**. ***
Other paperwork places are similarly confused. Getting married between applying for university and financial aid and matriculating is singularly difficult. My only consolation is that at least I’m in the correct country to do the paperwork.
The Moral of the Story: Tell everyone you meet that you have four initials if it makes you happy, but only have three on any and all legal paperwork. After this last month, I realise that my identity is quite intact, and if it wouldn’t require re-doing all of the paperwork at much shorter notise, I would go back in a minute and give myself a three-name name. Apparently, even mild individuality is not much prized by people who do paperwork.
N.B. In school, they told us to capitalise all the words in the title except for the short ones (except except for ‘I’, which is always capitalised). So if all of the words in a title are short, does one capitalise all, or none? It looks like this one does, at least. In comparison to each other, none seems particularly short. I bet non of them stores commonly used household items on the top shelf, either.
* This is not in any way my real name, just a hypothetical name for illustrationary purposes. There may come a day when the anonymity of my name shall fail. But it is not this day.
** Or would be, if that was my real name.
***And dammit, at least half of the recent female companions were younger than I am. I am unaccustomed to this aging phenomenon. I am told that one gets used to it.