I felt like I needed to explain why my name changed. The reference to the character Ricky Ricardo’s famous line from the “I Love Lucy” show is just a little wink and a nod to the reason I ever hyphenated in the first place… my daughter who just happens to adore Lucille Ball.
I kept my maiden name until I was thirty-seven years old and I did not change it when I married, I only changed it when my daughter was three years old.
It seemed to be a confusion at the time and felt we all should have the same family name.
But it is hard to teach an “old dog new tricks” or a “brown mare” who has been who she is for an awfully long time!
So I have for YEARS had several problems with the new hyphenated version. NO ONE will use it!
Whether they are saying it, writing it, whatever, it just gets “Johnson-ed” makes it even more fun when no one seems to be able to pronounce my FIRST name either!
It is pronounced just like the name “Dinah” only with an “N”, like saying the number nine. But more often that not whether I have spoken it or it is written it gets immediately converted somehow to “Nee-nah” which I can understand this a little better when it has been read, but I have also been called, “Nona’, “Nana”, and a few more and usually I just answer with “that’s close enough” or don’t even bother saying anything.
And sometimes I get really lucky and it just becomes “N. Johnson” I would even be okay with Mrs. Johnson but after a while, with both names being “slaughtered”, I wonder should I just keep answering to “whatever” or wear a pronunciation label at all times.
And a hyphenated last name is just simply too long and aggravating for me!
Trying to say it on the phone, to be honest, I ANNOY myself with it and I can’t imagine how bad I am annoying the poor soul on the other end!
I sound like the cartoon teacher voice from the Snoopy show!
Like “Hello, this is Nina…blah, blah, blah-blahhhh….” and I finally give up and answer the confused replies of “Could you repeat that?”or “Pardon me” that resound from the receiver, with the Johnson default.
It is a trip having to say it myself!
And I truly love my husband and I am not getting a divorce and I honestly think it is a beautiful name, but after having the same name for almost forty years it is hard to get used to another one.
Being married did not change my blood, or my DNA, and it sure does not make me property.
Honestly I think it is great when ladies want to take a married name, IF that is what they want. I have never wanted that and I think it was one of those things that sometimes we do so that we will be “doing the right thing” but for me it has not been the right thing.
It has felt like losing myself because it has always been something I feel so strongly and the process I have been going through over the last six weeks is just that, it is a decision that I have wrestled myself over for many years.
And at the end of the day, we all have to live out our own personal beliefs and this is mine and sure I could keep the hyphenated and not risk people thinking bad of me but if I won’t stand for something that means so much to me personally, than what business would I ever have attempting to stand for the Gospel?