September 28, 2011

Having a bad day?

This makes everything better.

September 12, 2011

The Little Missus

I've been giving some thought to weddings and marriage since this week I celebrate my eleventh wedding anniversary (I may even let Rob celebrate too). And then this post by Andrea Grimes got me thinking (and okay, a little bit defensive) about the long-held, and somewhat outdated tradition of women taking their husband's name when marrying. I made my decision a long time ago, and have occasionally felt twinges of guilt (as good, privileged liberals are wont to do) about the possibility of having done a disservice to the sisterhood. But then I remind myself, thanks to hard fought battles of the women who came before me, it was my own damn choice to make.

I am a third-wave feminist. I was raised Unitarian, by a single mother, and I majored in Anthropology. And I chose to take my husband’s last name when I got married.

In my defense, I got married at 22. I think it’s downright miraculous that I’ve stuck with any decision I made at 22, including my choice in husband. I often think about all the things I’d do differently if I had my wedding to do over again. I’d pick a different dress, possibly a different venue, and there’s no way in hell I’d do that damned garter toss again. But strangely enough, taking my husband’s name isn’t one of those things.

Given my background, I grew up knowing that taking my husband’s name when marrying was my choice to make. Since I was one of the first to get married among my friends, I didn’t even have a peer sample to compare. My mother, who’s been married three times (don’t tell her I told you that), has taken his name, been a hyphenate, and is now sporting her maiden name for good.

I don’t think Rob cared either way if I took his name. To be honest, I don’t recall ever asking him. If he’d had a definite opinion, I hope I would have at least listened politely. But even at 22, his opinion on this wouldn’t have carried much weight. It was always my decision to make.

Many factors went into my decision.

  • My parents divorced when I was a baby and I’ve never had a relationship with my father or his family, yet I carried his name for 22 years.

  • Maybe because of that, I was never particularly attached to the name. It wasn’t anything special, nor anything especially horrid.

  • It wasn't a difficult name to pronounce, yet people always seemed to stumble over it.

  • I am alive and vital and so very easy to find on the internet, regardless of what name you know me by.

  • There’s one benefit to getting married at 22: Before I became the internet sensation I am today, I was too young to have done anything especially noteworthy to give that name any added cache.

  • Having a uniquely spelled first name (silly as it is) was always my more memorable quality and I’ve always identified more with that.

  • Maybe if I’d had my last name changed to my mother’s family name when I was a kid, I would have felt differently.

  • I had and have a far stronger relationship with the family I married into, than the one who’s name I was born with.

I still worry sometimes (when I forget there are so many more important things to worry about) that some people will make incorrect assumptions about me and my values and background because of the fact that I carry my husband’s name. But never fear ladies, I didn’t lose my chance to fight the patriarchy. I just fought my own.

September 08, 2011

July Reads: 50 Books for 2011

I was an urban fantasy devouring fiend in July.

#15: Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler – The second book in the Jane True series takes adorable Jane out of her small coastal Maine town and into the big city to visit her vampire boyfriend and fight big bad evil. (While cracking jokes and sporting Converse of course.)

#16: Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler – The third book in the Jane True series and my favorite one so far. Jane’s world is turned upside-down when she finds out the fate of her long-lost mother. She makes some big decisions about her relationships and also starts really coming into her own power. I adore Jane, but also really love all of the secondary characters in this series.

#17: Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells – The first in the Sabina Kane series. Sabina is a vampire half-breed assassin in L.A. with a ginormous chip on her shoulder. She’s pretty rough around the edges but has fascinating adventures and a joins forces with a hot wizard.

#18: The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells – The second book in the Sabina Kane series sees Sabina relocating to New York to meet the magical half of her family. Things turn violent pretty quickly, which is pretty much just how Sabina rolls. I want to like Sabina, but she makes such dumb decisions sometimes that I kind of want to thump her on the head.

#19: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead – The first book in the Georgina Kincaid series introduces the succubus with the heart of gold, who works in a bookstore in Seattle, when she’s not stealing the life force from people. Georgina is full of all kinds of idiosyncrasies for a demon from hell. She also finds herself torn between two men that she really can’t have.

#20: Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead – In the second book from this series, Georgina is trying to make a go of it with her human boyfriend Seth, while also trying please her bosses in hell. There are going to be a LOT of obstacles in between Georgina and her happily ever after.

#21: Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells – The third book in the Sabina Kane series sees Sabina and her motley crue (hot mage Adam and her demon familiar Giguhl) heading to New Orleans to rescue her sister and go to war with her evil grandmother once and for all. The New Orleans setting is the perfect background for a paranormal adventure.