Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What is in a name?

Last night Scott and I were doing our bi-monthly "oh crap, Betty is coming" pick up around the house and accumulated a gigantic pile of mail to be shredded. As Scott was stopping up, I mean using, the shredder he was laughing at the various incarnations of our name. Our last name is Maven-Gman.* Is that really so difficult to comprehend? It does add a certain element of surprise to our junk mail which comes in the following flavors (I am sure I've left some out):
  • Maven H. Gman
  • Mrs. Maven
  • Mr. Maven
  • Mrs. Gman
  • Mr. Gman
  • Maven Gman
  • Mavengman
  • M. Gman

It is an entertaining way to track where things have come from but it is annoying that very few people can get it right. My 80 year old grandmothers have accepted it and use it (they'd probably be offended, kinda like the Caveman in the insurance commercial but so be it). Even PDQ knows it and how to write it. To increase the fun, Gman's first name isn't Scott, that's his middle name. On his voice mail at work and often when he introduces himself to new people he is Firstname Scott Maven-Gman which is obviously a mouthful. The guys he works with dubbed him Firstname Scott Maven-Gman Jingleheimer-Schmidt.

How the heck did we end up with the name? Well, Gman had a previous Mrs. Gman whom I did not want to be mistaken for--a good way to dodge conversations with her creditors if I can honestly say, nope I am not Mrs. Gman. I also desperately wanted to share a name with my new husband to celebrate our lives together and our family. About six months before our wedding I ran across an article in Cosmo about this couple who formed their own new last name, no hyphens but just their two names together so they had something for them. It was very sweet and it prompted me to bring up the subject with Gman for the first time. I told him that I was planning to use the hyphenated name and I would really like it if he would as well.

He promised to think about it and tell me on our wedding day. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was shut my mouth and let him think. Occasionally I would remind him how much I loved him and how much it would mean to me but for the most part I kept my mouth shut, which those who know me will agree is a real feat. So, the day before our wedding we met with the minister and she asked us how we wanted to be announced. I told her that Scott was deciding and he'd let her know tomorrow, he said no, he'd made up his mind and he was going to be Mr. Maven-Gman. I cried a little, it meant a lot to me that he'd buck tradition to do something new with me as we started our life together. He took more than a little ribbing from his groomsmen and former Army buddies when he told them. Somewhere in the lore he says I promised him favors (if you know what I mean) every time someone made fun of him. I don't remember that part.

It's a mouthful, annoying that people can't get it right, needs to be spelled for everyone and required explanation far more than I'd thought. Having no brothers it is a chance for the Maven name to go on just a little longer. But I love it because it is ours, a part of each of us and is unique.

*real names have been changed to protect the innocent


Esmerelda said...

Sniff!...I didn't know the back story...I remember being delightfully surprised though...weeping...beautiful..I so want to unload my last name.....

g-man said...

And I'm still owed quite the back log! ;)

TxGambit said...

I always like that story... sniff, sniff.

Thanks! And, I'm sure the junk mail is amazing. They can barely get my name right and its my first name, last name. That's it.

Mayberry said...

That's very cool. I miss my maiden name. Only AFTER I changed it did my husband say "your name was better than mine. I should have changed to yours instead."