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This hurts more than I expected

1 December 2011

I know, 16 days does not make a month. Sorry, no awards for me.

I don’t think my immediate family reads over here anymore, which is fine, especially today. I can’t say anything on Facebook (would you like to read my over-the-top political ramblings over there? If I “know” you via the blog, I’d be happy to add you…) because, well, you’ll see in a minute. So this has become my secret space (except for you, Consort. if you’re still here, that’s fine. So I suppose what I meant at the top of the paragraph was: I don’t think the girls read over here anymore.).

We are hyphenated people. Imperatrix-Consort. Thing is, we didn’t start out that way (first we went with Imperatrix as our middle name, Consort as our surname), then we switched over, but in between the girls were born so although we all go around as Imperatrix-Consort, on the girls’ social security cards they are listed as Imperatrix (middle name) Consort (surname).

This has blown up in Impera’s face as she began the path towards college. Her school has her hyphenated, but all the college tests she took (the alphabet soup of SAT, ACT, AP, etc.) were under the Consort-only name (you need to show your ID [and for her Driver’s License she had to show her SSN]). So she’s had issues with partial files in the Admissions departments ( for the 3 early action schools she applied to), warning emails that she had 36 hours to get everything in before the deadline (everything was in, just part under one name and part under the other). Tonight she said she was switching all her paperwork to Consort-only.

And I cannot stop crying. I’m hiding out in the office because it is her decision, and she already knows this decision hurt me, and there’s no reason to rub it in or use emotion to make her change her mind,  but every time I think I’ve got things under control, my eyes get red again.

I knew the name wouldn’t last forever. She would probably meet someone and they would probably make name decisions, one way or another. But right now it would be so easy to officially get things fixed at Imperatrix-Consort. Not much more difficult at all.

I am Imperatrix. Her choosing to cast that part off is hard. The Consort just peeked in the office, and he says  I seem to be taking this personally. Yes. Of course I am. I don’t know how else I could take it. Because if Imperatrix wasn’t important to who I consider myself to be, then why would I have considered it as any part of our name — either middle name or surname?

I am just so sad. And that’s all there it to it.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 December 2011 9:47 pm

    I am sorry. That really stinks. My husband and I are a hyphenated couple as well, as is our daughter, and we’ve had to deal with some name-related confusion but nothing like the stuff your family has.

  2. 2 December 2011 3:43 am

    She must be upset that she’s hurt you. I’m so sorry. I can see why she has chosen to simplify, and also why it’s such a slap in your face, however unintentional. I haven’t used my maiden name since 1973 but it’s still, in my mind, more ‘me’ than my married name.

  3. 2 December 2011 5:36 am

    I would be utterly gutted.
    I want to say it’s a loss and take time to mourn it, but that must be hard if Impera would take that as criticism 😦

  4. 2 December 2011 4:41 pm

    Ouch. I’d be hurting too.

  5. 5 December 2011 3:26 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of hyphenation. I guess I’ve never been particularly attached to my last name. When I got married my wife and I seriously thought about taking her last name or creating a new last name together (we liked Sinclair), but we ended up just keeping my last name (my wife eventually decided that her first name sounded better with my last name than with hers). But yeah, if you do hyphenate, I can see how a name-severing would be an emotional blow…and require a grieving process.

  6. 16 December 2011 11:20 am

    I’m sorry. I hope you’re reconciled now.

  7. 22 December 2011 8:40 am

    I think the comments previous to mine are excellent. Thinking about her going off to college is hard enough, but this means she won’t have your name with her on the journey. It’s such a difficult time in both of your lives. I hope healing comes soon after the mourning period.

  8. 6 January 2012 8:49 am

    I think I’d feel just the same; we are in the same position except that Quercus doesn’t use my surname, so it’s just me and the children, with him as the odd one out, who use both. It hurt me a bit, to be honest, that he wouldn’t add my name to his, but wanted me to add his to mine; this was the best compromise we could reach, and it still bugs me a bit from time to time. Eventually I suppose we’ll face something like you’re going through now as both children have quite long names as a result, especially when you take into account that they both have middle names as well.

    Does she definitely know that you’re upset? Probably a stupid question, but did she maybe just think about it practically without considering the emotional aspect…?

  9. Consort permalink
    4 April 2012 7:44 pm


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