Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's in a Name?

When I got married, not only did I get a great husband, but I got a great name. I have loved my last name for the past 14 years. ARISTA. It sounds so festive! And then paired with Kerri it really has a ring to it.

I've met people who have kept their maiden name even when they got married. And I've heard of people who use a hyphenated name of their maiden name with their married name. Not for me. I was happy to drop my maiden name of Hicks. And I didn't use it as my new middle name as I know some people do. And good Lord, no, I never considered the hyphenated option of Hicks-Arista. I love my parents, and I love where I came from. But to me, a name is just a name. And I'd rather have Arista than Hicks. (Sorry, Dad.)

Growing up, I was sometimes referred to as Kerri Hickey. Not because I sported lots of hickeys, or gave them out, but just because, well, because kids are silly and they like making fun of names.

(On a little side note, since I'm talking about names that get made fun of when you're a kid... When I was in 4th grade, I had a teacher named Mr. Fagg. Whats worse is, his first name was Dyke. That's right: DYKE FAGG. My 4th grade teacher! But, I digress...)

All of this reminiscing about names came up because tonight I discovered that one of my friends did something a bit unusual when she got divorced. She dropped her exhusband's last name and went back to her maiden last name. But, for her middle name she used a hyphenated name of her two sons, Austin-Taylor. She said she held on to the part of her marriage that was great and let go of the part that wasn't! And that is now her legal name. And it's so beautiful.

So in her case, I guess a name is not just a name. It's a story. It's what's meaningful.

And perhaps THAT is why I love my name: Kerri Arista

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