Monday, April 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

(Insert Shakespeare-y eye roll here.)

I've been thinking a lot--probably more than is healthy--about how my name will be changing in about 6 months.

My first thoughts are, of course, full of excitement because I think of it in terms of signing our marriage license, having our witnesses sign the license, and just enjoying our wedding day. I can't wait to have John refer to me as "wife," and I can't wait to finally and officially call him "husband." As Mora blogged when musing about being newly married, there is just a sense of legitimacy and clout in having a spouse. When you call someone your boyfriend, it can tend to seem new and somewhat of a question mark. Then you get a fiance, which causes excitement and congratulations. It seems every time I mention my fiance in front of someone new, congratulations and wedding questions almost immediately follow. But again, this can sometimes set off "new" and "young" vibes. Once you get to husband, though, it seems generally accepted that you are an adult, and that your relationship has actual "meaning." It sounds firm when you say, "I can't come in to work today. My husband fell and broke his wrist" versus "My boyfriend broke his wrist"which may be translated as "OMG my bf got a boo boo!" There's a true sense of need and belonging, and of social togetherness. I'm looking forward to all of that as much as I have enjoyed the process of getting to this point (almost 7 years in the making, thank you very much). I've felt for a very long time that John has been my husband, and now we simply get the legal documentation to prove it.

My second thoughts are of things like having to learn a new signature. I'm sorry, but the double-g i thing kills me. I have yet to discover the secret formula to make Maureen Riggi look good as a signature. But I'll have plenty of time to get it right. I also think a lot about re-establishing myself at work under a new name. Thankfully I've built steady relationships with coworkers both in and outside my office, and many of them know about the wedding, so that will be simple. And for those who I haven't worked with yet, they'll just have to search me under my new name. The HR aspect is a bit daunting, honestly. Do I get a new email address, or keep my current one since it's really just my first name anyway? Do I update my listing from Egan to Riggi? Do I hyphenate for professional use? What's the best way to transition?

This leads to what is probably the most stressful, and that's the legal aspect. I don't have a personal HR department to help me switch my name on all my various documents...DMV, SSN, bills, etc. I know it'll get done, and it's a bit frustrating, but the thought of it now is kind of overwhelming. I'll be gaining a legal alias. Hence I've been holding off on getting a passport. It's not worth it to get one only to have to update and switch it in a few months anyway.

Another thing I keep mulling over is how I'll be known as Maureen Riggi for longer than I've been known as Maureen Egan, and that's a strange thought. I mean, our parents have always been, for the most part, known to us and Mom and Dad Last Name, which is also my Last Name. Until we're older we don't really give much thought to Mom's life with Old Last Name. I know this is all way deeper thought that is normal or necessary, but this is what I've been thinking about as I doodle my name plus John's last name. It's a mini identity crisis, dag nabbit! Also, and I tease John about this endlessly, I love having an identity so obviously Irish. Several visitors to my office ask my name and as soon as I say, Maureen Egan, the immediate response is, "Oh, what a beautiful Irish name." It makes me sad that that will now be buried under Riggi. John and I were watching a program on NJN about contemporary Irish music (it was around St. Pat's), and the host was a young woman with blue hair and curly blonde hair. I forget her last name, but it was Italian. John said, "Gosh, they couldn't even get someone Irish to host?" And I snapped, "She probably is, but her married name is Italian." But it's true. It's not that I'm not equally proud of my Italian background, but I do like being so easily identified by my name and my features (a gentleman recently told me I was a classic Gallway Girl and referred me to the song). I wonder if, as I'm known as Riggi, if I'll look "more" Italian to people.

I'm, of course, happy to take John's name, and all of this is also a way of deferring some of my other wedding stresses, but I think there are more than a few concerns in there that I can't be alone in having. I'm clearly overthinking all of this. But like I said, I'm sure these aren't unique thoughts--someone has had to have shades of even the craziest crap I wrote up there.

Married friends, how did you feel as you approached your wedding date, and how was the transition to your new name and new identity as Wife? Thoughts? Advice? Anecdotes? Please do share.


PS: another ridiculous I change Hammy's name on his vet records? He's currently Hamlet Egan. haha

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

House Dreams

I love our apartment. It's adorable, is the perfect size most of the time, and has many of the qualities I hope for in whatever house we wind up in: charm, hardwood floors, a layout that makes sense, an extra bedroom.

But I am just as often reminded of all the things I couldn't live without for much longer. I am continually frustrated by two spaces, which are two make-or-break points in a house sale: the kitchen and the bathroom. Both spaces are fine if you're alone. The problem is that, almost every day I'll be in, say, the bathroom brushing my teeth, and then John will wedge in and attempt to brush his teeth, too. Standing practically implanted in my side. As we fight for spitting room. In the pedestal sink. We inevitably knock things over cuz there is no room to rest anything since there is no counter. The other day on such an occasion, my toothbrush wound up on the floor. Thankfully it was after I had finished with it. But still, in that moment, I yelled, "HIS AND HERS SINKS AND A BIG BATHROOM IS A MUST IN OUR HOUSE!!!!!!" I'm pretty sure I then smoked out the ears, and blasted a hole in the wall with the lasers coming out of my eyes. While John and I were bumbling to get out of the bathroom, Hammy comes trotting in, chirping away, and rubs against my ankles. A picture of overcrowded, claustrophobic perfection.

My second biggest pet peeve also occurs in the kitchen. I'll be putting away groceries, which takes up nearly every square inch of the room, and John will waltz in, deciding he wants tea, or needs to throw something away that very second, or worse--tries to help, but just winds up getting more things in my way. His method of helping is emptying out all the bags onto the one square inch of counter space we have. Which infuriates me because I have a very specific method. It works. It doesn't involve putting everything on counters. It's sad that it upsets me because he's trying to help, which I genuinely appreciate. But this scenario is another that ends in yelling, throwing of reusable bags, and unceremonious chucking of yogurt into the fridge. And, as if on cue, Hammy comes in, selects his favorite burlap bag and lays down on it, looking up at me and purring contentedly. ::sighs::

So here it is, my HGTV Property Idiot First Time Home Buyers Wish List:
1. Preferably one floor
2. Hardwood floors (but some carpet might be nice)
3. A screened in porch for Hammy to enjoy (and to act as a buffer to enter the house should he try and escape)
4. 2/3 bedrooms
5. John needs a mancave
7. Washer/dryer on main floor if there's a basement or upstairs if there are 2 stories. I'm tired of nearly plummeting to my death doing laundry. Who decided a narrow, dark concrete stairwell only needed light switches and a frigging DOOR to manipulate...genius).
8. Preferably 2 bathrooms

Something also pissing me off these days: my computer, which becomes more and more senile every day. I am literally counting down to buying a new one. I almost throw this one out the window every single time I try and use it.

That's all for now.