"Names have power."
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
|The future Mrs. Patterson|
When we are married next Saturday, I will take his name as my own. I am thrilled to become Kelly Patterson but I'm finding myself practicing saying it: "Kelly PATTERSON. Kelly PAT-ter-son. Kelly Patterson." It's kind of a nice Scotch-Irish name and I'm completely honored to take it on as my own.
It's a strange thing to change one's name at mid-life. I've had a few names in my life. My birth certificate had one. Then it changed to another in childhood. Then, I married The Ex-Husband and I took his name in my early twenties. I kept it when we divorced because, well, I'd gotten accustomed to it and because I liked sharing a name with Things 1 and 2. And I've built a career on the name Kelly Tilyard. And if you Google it, well, I'm the only one that shows up. Not so with Kelly Patterson. Will I get lost in the sea of Kelly Pattersons that have had the name so much longer than I? Will I be compared? Are THOSE Kelly Pattersons SO MUCH COOLER than me?
It wasn't incredibly difficult to become Kelly Tilyard. I didn't have many things to change. My social security number and my driver's license were the biggies. Now, I find that I am overwhelmed with the VAST list of things I will have to convert to my new name. I imagine I'll get around to all of it within the next, say, five years. I'm really on top of things like that. (No, no I'm not.)
I never liked being called Mrs. Tilyard back in the day, but I find that I am looking forward to being called Mrs. Patterson. As a young woman, I was highly irritated that someone would identify me only as my husband's wife. "I have my OWN IDENTITY," I scoffed. I didn't like to open mail addressed formally to Mr. and Mrs. Tilyard. It didn't help that, as a newly married couple, I was a Navy Wife. You can't do ANYTHING as a military wife without your husband's permission and/or social security number. I couldn't get a military ID without him signing for it. It chafed and I balked. I had my OWN life, thankyouverymuch. I've softened in the last ten years and I think I know what it means to become a wife a bit better than I did when I was much younger.
I am not chattel but I am a partner. And I am honored to take on my new husband's name.
I'm looking forward to being a life partner with Mr. Patterson. I like building dreams with him and I'm excited about the Great Adventures we're already planning. He's the yang to my yin. The black to my white. The pepper to my salt. The Mr. to my Mrs.
And I'll begin to get used to being Kelly Patterson. (Do you hear how that just rolls off the tongue? Kelly Patterson. Dreamy.)
What a Great Adventure this marriage will be all on its own. I do. And I will. Always. #PathtoPatterson