Thursday, September 22, 2011


"What's your name?" asked the lady on the phone.

I paused. When did this become a difficult question? My name is now J------- B-----, but not all of my identification documents say so. I'm going to have a bank card with the new name in a few days, but three weeks ago when I made the online order being discussed, the debit card I was using had my old name on it, which in turn is not the name that I ever introduced myself by, since I have always called myself by a shortened form of my first name.

In reality, only a fraction of a second passed by while I hesitated over how to name myself. (In retrospect, it was a bit of a White Knight* moment.) But it was another reminder of the confusions of being a new wife.

*From Ch. 8 of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass:
`Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested.
`No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. `That's what the name is called. The name really is "The Aged Aged Man."'
`Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called"?' Alice corrected herself.
`No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called "Ways and Means": but that's only what it's called, you know!'
`Well, what is the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.
`I was coming to that,' the Knight said. `The song really is "A-sitting On A Gate": and the tune's my own invention.'

No comments: