I’ve just finished reading Cath Deveny’s essay collection ‘Say When’, and thought it was great. Who else in the Australian media is as grumpy, post-feminist, bogan and bleeding heart lefty at the same time?
I do take issue with one of her complaints though, and I feel the need to get all defensive and back-archey about it. *hair bristle*
CHANGING YOUR NAME TO YOUR HUSBAND”S NAME IS NOT F
There, I said it. But I still feel the need to explain myself. …ahem….I’ve always wanted a different name. As I’ve said to my mum “Jayne Harris?’ You could have called me Jane Doe and it would be more memorable.’ Jayne Harris is a completely and utterly , white-bread forgettable name. I had always thought the rule of thumb with names was – if you’ve got a flowery or complicated surname, yeah, go with something simple for the first. Amy Winehouse. Kate Miller-Heidke. Kim Kardashian (whoever she is.) It works.
If you’re a euro mutt like me and have inherited an incredibly bland surname, you can afford to be a bit more adventurous. Balthazar Getty. Geraldine Halliwell. Paris Hilton. See the balance?
As I see it, people who change their name for no real reason honestly seem like, well, tools. Exceptions would be if you were in the witness protection program, or if your surname was Hitler (and there must have been some, you’re telling me he had NO relatives at all?)
Now had my fiance’s surname been, say, Schmitt or Cockburn or Hore, hey, I might have stuck with Harris. It’s not actively bad. (Apologies to any Schmitts, Cockburns or Hores who might read this.) But – Jayne Lamb? For real? I loved the sound of it, and you’re going to remember it, just like in the song, eh?
I mean, for me, it sounds like it should ring a bell. Jayne Lamb. Was she that Romantic poet who had simultaneous affairs with both Byron and Shelley and then drowned in Lake Geneva after taking too much laudanum?
Is she that reclusive, scary-eyed rock star who hasn’t released an album since her grungemaster husband hung himself back in the twilight of the eighties?
Is she the mild mannered alter ego of some kickarse girl superhero, or better yet, the mild mannered but psychologically shaky employee who just COULDN”T TAKE IT ANY MORE and became one of Batman’s arch enemies? You know, Anna Crusis? Or Amanita Versa?
Hell, maybe she was just your grade two teacher, the one with the centre part and braces, who wore dangly earring and a kaftan. Whatever. It generates something. And when you put it with my middle name, it sounds like something off a Chinese menu. You want rice or noodles with your Jein Lin Lamb?
So, Cath, I come to disagree with you. Changing my name (NB I don’t refer to it as ‘taking my husband’s name’ – he’s still in possession of his) does not make me a beige cardigan wearing, never says a thing ‘Mrs’ ala Janette Howard. But it sounds great. And I haven’t had to join the witness protection program to do it.