Sunday, February 24, 2013

"I'm Jane, Jane and John Smith"

Sitting in the foyer at church this afternoon I [accidentally] found myself eavesdropping on a conversation between two women.  It seemed woman number one (who I'll call Wanda) was giving woman number two (who I'll call Jane) a box of items.  After pleasantries Wanda said to Jane, "now tell me your name again" to which Jane replied, "I'm Jane, Jane and John Smith." 

Please note: John was nowhere to be seen...not even in the same room, perhaps not even the same building.

I'll admit, I felt a little queasy at her reply.  Jane was a mature woman, so it wasn't a surprise that she said what she did.  Part of me wants to jump on the BE AN INDIVIDUAL bandwagon and the other wants to jump down the LOVE IS LOVELY slide.

Remember Leave It To Beaver, and I Dream of Jeannie, when Mrs. John Smith was more common than just plane Jane Smith?  Thankfully, neither do I.  There is a nice ring to it and I would be lying if I said I didn't scribble that certain someones name combined with my own on my notebook a time or two in the past year.  I'm not crazy, I had every reason to think I would be writing that name forever, but things change.

Which is why my second wave of queasiness came as I thought of that woman as an individual.  I'm all for being in love and showing it in every way.  Some said "don't you dare take his last name" when the only thing I wanted more, was him.

So let's just say you're happily married.  First of all, congratulations!  Second, you're still you, right?

What I saw was a woman that sees herself as an extension of her husband.  If he had been right there and a gesture toward him during the conversation explained her words, there would have been sense in the exchange.  But to me it was almost as if she were justifying who she is by the man she is married to.

I do pray for the eternal wedded bliss [almost] every girl dreams of these days.  But even if I were happily wedded I would be no less myself than I am now.  More a part of something amazing, yes.

I know what [some of] you are thinking, I am a part of this miraculous relationship and I am a better me because of him, or something equally as queasy.  So I giggle a little and think of how I should introduce myself now, in the absence of my companion...

For my parents: "I'm Katherine [pause for effect] John, Win & Katherine"
For my talent: "I'm Katherine, a soprano, Katherine"
For my heritage: "I'm Katherine, Irish, German, Katherine"
For my inner child: "I'm Katherine, favorite color green, Katherine"
Or maybe: "I'm Katherine"

Yes, hopefully, eventually Mrs. but for now, Katherine.


Nicole Bolinger said...

that would make me want to vomit too!!! I would get it if he was right next to her, but he wasn't!! I think it's kind of sad, but if that makes her blissfully happy, then so be it! You need to call me! :)

Captivating Eyes said...

I'm not going to lie, I kept my last name at work so I can still be me. It's not that I don't LOVE being Mrs. or Sister Willes, but there's something about it that isn't ME. I like ME. I like my name. Scratch that, I LOVE my name. I love how my full name just flows. I miss that. So yes, in my selfish way, I kept my last name at work for 1) less paperwork and 2) so I can still be Me. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.