Thursday, March 09, 2006

What's in a Name ?

For 25 years of my life, I was named Andrea D. The D stands for an ethnic name that is quite obviously European. As my father was born in Matera in southern Italy, my name was a reflection of that portion of my heritage.

Due to pressure from my mother-in-law-to-be, and my desire to keep the peace, I changed it when I first was married. I got used to being Andrea A. I was fine with it then.

After the divorce, I didn't change it back right away. Everyone in California knows me as A., and I'd just have to go through the same name-changing bureaucratic agony if/when I got married again. At the time, I thought, why bother ?

But then I started asking myself, why should I have to change my name when I get married ? That is the culture in North America, but not in many other parts of the world, including Europe and French Canada. I see more and more women in this country electing to keep their maiden names, with little apparent backlash. Why can't I do that too ?

My last name is not just my title. It's my heritage. It's a part of my identity. I shouldn't have to lose that when I decide to share my life with another person.

So yesterday, I announced to all my friends and family that I was changing back. All the paperwork with the various legal agencies has been done, and now, I am officially known as Andrea D. again.

Many have commented on what a beautiful Italian name it is. One person even said "Sounds like a diva."

To me, it just sounds like me.

Andrea D.

It's what I was, it's what I am, and it's what I'm going to be.


Anonymous Derek said...

Welcome back Andrea D!

March 22, 2006 at 7:13:00 PM PST  

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