Thursday, August 08, 2002

a 3 year nagging question

Well, I'll be darned I think I have another blog post. It's a long one so pull up a sit and get some cheese. [I love cheese, I believe it is the essence of life so any mention of cheese from me is a big big deal ;) ]
I was just talking to an old friend of mine the other day who didn't know that I had gotten married 3 years ago or that I had a son now. She was of course so excited to hear all this and began asking me all sorts of questions. She asked me what my new name was and I must say I wasn't shocked by the little "oh" she gave in response when I told her I never changed my name when I got married. "Well, the baby has his fathers last name doesn't he?"
Uhhhhh no. My son is one of the lucky ones that has an extremely long name thanks to the wonders of hyphens. Since my last name is Cordier and my husbands name is Evans my sons last name is Cordier-Evans.
My friend thought this was amazing and well a bit weird. She then assumed, like so many others have, that I had Dalton out of wedlock or that Doug, my husband was not the birth father and adopted him when we got married. I got married in May of 99 and my son was born on Christmas Eve of 00. We talked about it some more and although I don't think she completely agrees with it I do believe she understands. Which is the only think I ask for.
My question is why is it when I tell people I didn't change my name and that my sons name is hyphened I get that "oh." Then there are the few that ask "Why does he have two middle names?" Then when I say he doesn't have two middle names its "why does he have two last names?" My son does not have two last names--he has one and its Cordier-Evans.
When I first told Doug that I didn't want to change my name he was fine with it. But ever since we moved back to his hometown in FL I can see that it irks him sometimes. While my family has no problem with this, some of his family, however, does and I think that is why Doug is getting iffy about it all of the sudden. They act as if the Cordier part isn't even there. To me, that's disrespectful. I also thinks its wrong for them to demand an explanation from me on why I chose to keep my name and not just be "a normal God faring wife and take the name of my husband."
Well, here is my answer. Before I was married I asked my husband if he had a problem with it and he said he didn't. I asked if he would mind that we gave our children the last name of Cordier-Evans and he said he didn't care. So if I don't mind and my husband doesn't mind why do I feel the need to always tell this story to people?
My last name is special to me--I did a lot as Christina Cordier and I didn't want to just leave that part of me behind because I decided to get married. Cordier is not my birth name. My birth name is Mickey. When I was 3, I believe, my mother fought for months to get mine and my older brothers name changed from Mickey to Cordier--the last name of my older sister. My real father was just sent to prison for abusing my mother for years and it was her way of ending those ties with him forever. My mother had a hell of a battle with the courts over the whole thing but she finally won. Of course, when I was 8 she married a man that didn't physically abuse her but he mental abuse all of us over the next 10 years or so. I always saw my mother as a weak woman--someone who just had to have a man in her life and didn't have the balls, so to speak, to make it on her own. After I had graduated high school and joined the army my mother finally divorced Jack. She also finally told me why she had stayed. She stayed because of her kids. She had to make sure we had food and cloths and a place to sleep. She knows now that the abused we suffered was not worth that but at the time he had so much control. There's tons more I could say about that but the main point is this: When my mother left my father and fought to get my named changed showed me that she wasn't the weak woman I thought she was. She, at one point in time risked everything and stood by herself and was strong and that makes me so proud of her. I just couldn't see changing my name after my mother had worked so hard to give it to me in the first place. And as far as the "God faring wife" thing goes, isn't one of the 10 commandments honor thy mother and father? For me, keeping my name is my way of honoring her.
Dalton is not only Doug's son, he is my son as well. I want my son and future children to grow up knowing the history behind their last name and why it means so much to me and my side of the family. Maybe one day, like it has done for me so many times in the past, it will give them the strength to push just a little bit harder, just like their grandmother did.
But, there still leaves the annoying problem of why I get so much grief about the whole thing in the first place. I don't go up to women who have kept their name and go, "Man, how old fashion is that." Its a personal choice I made and I am happy with it. What do you ladies think?

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