I’m in mourning over the loss of my name.
In the run-up to my wedding, my stomach didn’t get in knots with fears of making a mistake or a niggling doubt over whether my fiancé was Mr Right – we’ve been together long enough to learn to love each other’s faults. Instead, it was the thought of no longer being Marissa Carruthers that filled me with dread.
It’s who I’d been for the previous three decades and being known as anything else seemed just plain weird. Even worse, I felt like a traitor. Like I was leaving my family behind and it felt like I was losing a little of who I was.
One of my earliest memories is at primary school struggling to get to grips with spelling my name. I remember the forced concentration as I ploughed my way through the 17 letters ahead of me, wishing I could have had a simple name like Chris Pears who was sat next to me wearing a smug smile, having finished writing his name hours before me.
Since then, I’ve learnt to love my name and was loath to get rid of it. I’d toyed with the idea of keeping my surname but when I mentioned it Hubby suddenly turned all traditional. He wasn’t happy and if I was totally honest with myself it didn’t sit right with me either.
It seemed strange being married but still being a miss. What about when I hit old age and people presume I’ve been left on the shelf my whole life? And the inevitable arguments over whose surname our children would take?
So rather reluctantly, I put an offer on the table and told Hubby I’d trade in the youthful sounding Miss for the, let’s say, more mature sounding Mrs, but would be keeping my maiden name for work.
Despite the deal being signed and sealed, I lived happy in the knowledge that it would take me years before I got round to changing my name.
As predicted, five months passed and the only thing I’d changed was my passport (and that was only because we’d booked the honeymoon in my new name). I was still successfully living under my old name, I mean how often does the passport come out?
That was until Christmas. Excited at the thought of my first festivities as a wife, relatives showered me with cards addressed to Mrs BR, followed by messages about settling into married life… getting to grips with my married name.
Some were even kind enough to send me cheques, which are never ungratefully received in Casa BR. Except, that is when they’re addressed to Mrs BR who, as far as Miss C’s bank is concerned, doesn’t exist.
And he was right because today my new bank arrived… with my surname spelled wrong.
So here’s to a life of being a Baranoff-Rossine, and a life of people getting it wrong.