It’s not about religion, but you should still read it.

I got a lot of page views with my religion post. I was trying to think of controversial topics so I could reach that peak again, but instead I’m going to talk about marriage.

My husband told me last night that I have to post a blog today. It’s adorable how he thinks he gets to tell me to do things. But I’ve been a bad blogger lately, so I’m trying to get re-motivated.

I don’t wear a wedding ring and I didn’t change my last name. A casual observer would think I’m not really married. But then how do you explain how my car gets filled with gas, how my dinners get made, and how all my annoying errands are miraculously already done when I get home from work?

The reason I don’t wear a wedding ring is that I’m allergic to metal. I think specifically nickel, but I have no medical proof.

About a month after I got married, my finger started hurting. Like, aching-in-the-bone hurting. But I’m not a big jewelry-wearer, so I figured it was just me adjusting to having a metal band around my finger. Normal people have chronic finger pain when they wear rings, right?

So then my finger started itching under the ring. A lot. But again, I just figured I wasn’t used to wearing jewelry.

Then my skin turned red. I figured it was because of the scratching, so I stopped scratching.

Then my skin started to peel off and scab over. I took that as a sign I should take the ring off.

Shortly after that, I visited my parents and told my mom about my finger. She was like, “Oh, yeah, that happened to me, too. I thought I was allergic to marriage.” Thanks, mom.

So, the reason I haven’t changed my name is a little more complicated. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I think I’ve figured out the reason. But it’s going to take a bit to get there.

I never thought I had any particular attachment to my last name (Scarbrough, if you don’t know). For one thing, it’s long. I always ran out of bubbles on the front page of standardized test packets. It’s at the end of the alphabet, which means I’m always near the end of roll call. And in my grade in school, it meant I was always sitting next to this girl who once picked her nose and then wiped the booger on me. Gross.

Also, I had heart surgery when I was a baby, so I have a scar down the middle of my chest. So I got a lot ofLindsay Emphasis-on-Scarbrough.”

So, though I never really hated my name, I was not particularly fond of it. But it was my name. No use fighting it.

I never really wanted to get married when I was little. In fact, I didn’t want to get married until a few months before I got engaged. But, when you’re a girl in an american public school, you often get asked about marriage and your future husband. And, when I was growing up, that meant you got asked if you’d keep your name.

Of course, my first answer was always, “I’m never getting married.” But if they kept pushing, I’d say something along the lines of, “It depends.” I always figured if I’d made a name for myself in some way before I got married, I’d keep my name. And if not, I’d change it. That was pretty much my official policy.

So, decades later, the day actually came. I got married. And I certainly had no career to speak of. My name wasn’t well-known. In fact, some of my closest friends knew my last name only as trivia, because I’d been adopted by a group of girls called the Kolter Sisters, and had been known as Lindsay Marie Kolter for many years. (Side note: Marie is not my real middle name either. Almost everything about me is made up, I’m now realizing.) I’d even told my husband that it was up to him. If he wanted me to change it (he did), I would.

But I still haven’t changed my name. What gives?

I’ve given several excuses to people. It’s so much trouble. It costs money. His name is even longer and farther back in the alphabet than mine, and they reflect the same ancestry (extremely English), so there’s barely any difference anyway. All those things are true, but those aren’t the reasons.

See, when I was younger, I wanted to be a writer. I spent every spare minute reading and writing. I stayed up all night finishing stories. And I imagined growing up and actually getting paid to write. I imagined book jackets, movie credits, Oscars and Emmys, all with my name on them. The name I pictured wasn’t Lindsay To-Be-Decided-Later-Depending-on-How-Successful-I-Am-When-I-Get-Married.

I want the name in those credits to be the one I imagined when I was a little girl. Written by Lindsay Scarbrough. Empress if you want to be formal.

So that’s the real, actual, honest reason I haven’t changed my name. It’s not the most logical one, but it makes the most sense to me.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “It’s not about religion, but you should still read it.

  1. adam

    i find your real reason very touching. truly i do.

  2. Bailey

    My last name had always caused people to call me Brian Bailey, SO I always said that if the guy I married had an obvious last name like Smith or Johnson, then I would change my name. As you know my husband does NOT have that kind of last name.

    I ended up changing it, which is a much longer story than would fall into the “comment” variety.

  3. Don

    The best thing about your blog is not that you can write, although it is delightful and wonderful to discover you can.

    No, the best thing is that you remind me how wise and lucky my son was to capture you.

    Call yourself whatever you like. You are my child.

    Love you, girl.

  4. rachel

    I kind of have the same ring problem.
    I have to take it off any time my hands will get wet and make sure they are thoroughly dry before I put the ring back on.
    I have had several instances of the itchy, peely, dry finger. I take the ring off (and wear it around my neck) for a few days and it gets better. Also having the ring cleaned really helped the last time it happened.
    Really the poing of my rambling is to let you know I sympathize and can understand your ring situation. 🙂

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