lunedì, dicembre 03, 2012

What's in a name?

So far, several months of negotiations and second thoughts. And, as a friend of ours pointed out this weekend in one of those sudden, shocking moments where you get to observe someone else's sadness, self-knowledge and tolerated chronic misery, the F-word and I "are one of those couples who like each other." Imagine how it goes for the ones who don't.

Anyways, I think we're more or less there now. The first name we agreed on months ago, when we found out his sex, without much problem. The middle name was harder because I wanted a hyphenated last name. Well, I didn't really, I wanted Godzilla to have MY last name, and so did the F-word, and a hyphenated last name seemed like the only option. The F-word and I both have epic last names, so having a middle name would have left Godzilla with an epic all-round name.

But I've been questioning why I'd by so keen on him having my name; as a feminist gesture, it just shows the ongoing ownership of my father instead of the new ownership of my old man, and if I wanted a real feminist gesture I'd at least go for my mother's maiden name, which I don't want to, because it's one of those uber-twee Yorkshire last names that wouldn't be twee only in the context of some sort of Wuthering Heights arm-up-your-cow's-vagina-delivering-her-young-on-a-windswept-moor scenario. The Industrial Revolution and land clearances ruined a lot of names up there.

So anyways, now I've got my way on the middle name and I'm thinking of giving up, unsolicited, on the hyphenated last name and just giving Godzilla his dad's name, and perhaps adopting his dad's name myself when we get married in preparation for moving back to a civil law country, though perhaps not if I keep working in the media.  This was really initiated by filling out the form for his birth certificate and realizing that with his first, middle and two last names, there will be very few forms with sufficient space available to get it all down.

And a lot of my resistance to using his dad's last name only was that there are a lot of undesirables in his dad's family, criminally speaking. Every Calabrian has family they're not proud of - or at least shouldn't be proud of - but there is a bumper crop on the F-word's tree. But since I seem to be getting my own way in terms of moving away from Australia sooner rather than later, where that element has thrived, I'm feeling able to back down.