For the past several years -- well, for most of my adult life, actually -- I have been thinking about reverting back to my maiden name. I have never been comfortable with my married name. I was married at a very young age, and my husband died when I was 24, and for all of these years, I have not felt any connection to my name. Our names identify us and they identify the connection we have to the other members of the family who have the same name. I was born with my maiden name, and I was born into a family of people who shared my name. My fondest memories are of the times I spent with the people who shared my maiden name. My married name has always felt foreign to me. Like a visitor in a distant land, I am homesick for my own family. Good, bad or indifferent, our families are the people with whom we share DNA and history.
I admire women who keep their maiden names when they get married. They are not the chattel of the people they marry. They are entities unto themselves, with a history before they married. I am not an extension of the person to whom I was briefly married. I am a person in my own right, and I love my maiden name. It's who I am. I know it sounds silly, but I always felt rather special that my name was a "Mc" name. It set me apart a little bit. I miss the "Mc". All of the things that have gone into making up this strange creature called *me* were there when I had my maiden name, and I want it back.