Illustration by Michael DeForge for The New York Times
Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:
A Married Name That Looks Nothing Like Us
Ooh, after reading this review, I’m going to have to add “Hard to Love” to my book list this year:
“Depictions of best friendships between women are radical in their suggestion that a fulfilling partnership doesn’t need to be a heterosexual romantic relationship. Yet they operate within similar constraints; a romantic partner gets substituted with a friend. Hopper shows there’s a far wider array of possible platonic relationships than usually appear in print or on screen. Her friendships take on a variety of configurations (different sizes, many are long distance), involve serious commitments (caring for a chronically ill friend), and, at times, complications, like when Hopper gets taken in by a friend and resentment brews.”
The Hardship of a Very Open Adoption
Reading Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” as a Motherhood Memoir
“My Life as a Prison Wife,” posted here seven years ago this month remains one of the most-read essays on DW. Nicki wrote an update a year later. I don’t think she’s still active on DW these days, but I follow her on FB, and I loved this recent news story she shared about the amazing thing her husband is up to now. If you’ve followed her story – or are just catching up with it now — this is a really sweet and heartwarming update.
Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!
JD February 8, 2019, 10:14 am
The name article is interesting. I joked that I would only marry a Smith or Jones as no one could ever pronounce my last name, all four letters of it, let alone the confusion over my first name, which I don’t get. Many times I have been chastised ay Starbucks for ignoring my drink for Michelle or Jeanette, because, obviously I wasn’t listening for that name.
My ex had an insanely complicated last name zero could pronounce or spell and as much as I did love him I dreaded the prospect of taking such a difficult name.
Welll, I did end up marrying a Smith, not exactly but a very common Spanish last name. It’s nice to have people actually understand my last name, pronounce it correctly and not butcher the spelling. It’s amusing to see people hear my last name and look at me in utter confusion as I look in no way Spanish looking, quite German actually.
ktfran February 8, 2019, 10:30 am
I love the name article. My last name is a hard-to-pronounce 11 letters and oddly, I’ve always dated men and finally married one with pretty basic last names. Stuart. Stocton. Etc. And oddly I’ve never contemplated changing my name. I liked that it was unique and mine. I ended up marrying a Hall. His first, middle and last name is two letters longer than my last name.
Last weekend, we were joking about last names if we were to have kids. We’re not having kids, so it’s a moot point, but I was surprised by his response…
Of course people in the room thought if we were to have kids, they’d take his last name. I’m like no, they could very well take mine. And then the husband and I looked at each other and simultaneously said that of course if we were to have children, we would give them our “joke” combined last name, which is his last name + the last six letters of mine. All felt right in the world.
Kate February 8, 2019, 10:31 am
I really feel like people should have whatever name feels comfortable to them, and get it legally changed if they want. All this debating about taking a man’s name, I don’t get. If you don’t want that to be your last name, it doesn’t have to be.
To her point though, I gotta say I like having an extremely basic and anonymous name.
JD February 8, 2019, 10:36 am
I agree, I don’t get it. She also said he friends would likely make fun of her? That is ridiculous to me. It is no ones business. I always intended to change my name and could give a crap if someone doesn’t like it and I wouldn’t understand why someone would care as it has no impact on them.
I jokingly used to say that my name was unique that there’s no way I could claim someone else did something wrong, another Jane Doe. Now I find many Janelle Martinez names out there so I can fly more under the radar (also not my last name). Of course I am joking and have no intentions of robbing a liquor store or anything but I feel oddly more hidden. I am not a fan of my whole life and info being public, for no real reason other than I just don’t want it to.
Fyodor February 8, 2019, 10:54 am
My real first name is an extremely unusual spelling for a common name and it causes me all sorts of problems,including mis printed business cards, erroneous court filings in my cases, etc.
Bittergaymark February 8, 2019, 2:06 pm
My last name is unusual. And I rather like that I am the only Mark _____ on the planet.
It wasn’t till the rise of this stupid, ugly, LAZY “Facebook” font — same one used on this website and suddenly, seemingly EVERYWHERE else that my problems began.
See… it is all the fault of the LAZY capital letter i looking like a lower case L. So my name looks like it begins with two lower case Ls. Mark Il________. This confuses everybody suddenly. My was always misspronounced even though it is quite phonetic. Oh, fuck it. It is IL VED SON. So pronouned ill ved (like ted) son.
Now its misspelled constantly. Mark livedson. Mark Iveldson. People constantly swap letters thinking its a typo. I had bank tellers refuse to deposit paychecks. Magazines always arrive for mark livedson. Bad tv shows miscredit me. I still have Multiple identities on IMDB. It is all very tedious. Because some fucking idiot decided it looked cool to make an I look like an l. Bah. End of rant! 😉
JD February 8, 2019, 3:14 pm
That lI thing drives me nuts too. Couldn’t get info my WiFi for days until I guessed it might be that.
Miss MJ February 8, 2019, 3:25 pm
My maiden last name is very unique. Like, the only people who have it are related to me, unique. (It got irrevocably butchered when my ancestors arrived in the US and before it’s creation was not even an actual name, but whatever…it is now!) It’s seldom that anyone can pronounce it or spell it on the first try. But my first name is very common, as is my married last name. So, I can go from being either the only person in the U.S. with my name or one of thousands, depending on what name I use. (At least according to the “How Many of Me” website, anyway.)
JD February 8, 2019, 3:32 pm
I’d never heard of that site and just looked. Yep, just me with my maiden name and even only 65 with my first and married name.
Kate February 8, 2019, 3:36 pm
Oh cool, there are only 41 people with my first and last, I guess because Kate on its own isn’t THAT common of a name. But 300k people with my last name.
ktfran February 8, 2019, 3:49 pm
Fun site! There are 1 or fewer with my first and last name. There are 326 people if I were to take my husband’s last name. And there are fewer than 122 people with just my last name. 577,205 with the husband’s last name.
ktfran February 8, 2019, 3:50 pm
And there are 2,257 people with the same name as the husband.
ktfran February 8, 2019, 3:53 pm
And two of them work at our company!
Bittergaymark February 8, 2019, 4:11 pm
Fun site! And…. still just the one. ME!
Copa February 8, 2019, 4:42 pm
My name is common, but the way I spell it is far less common. People misspell my name constantly. It sometimes causes issues to have such a common name, but I appreciate that I’m probably harder to Google. Over 376,000 with my first name, over 929,000 with my last name, 1,064 with my exact name. If I spelled it the more typical way, there would be 2,360 with my first and last name.
Ange February 8, 2019, 7:06 pm
My surname is extremely common but often misspelled because there are so many variations of it. I’m constantly having to correct people, even my own workplace gets it wrong constantly. My husband’s is very rare but I couldn’t take it as it’s phonetically so… Gluggy. I’ve often said to him you don’t so much say his surname as chew it up and spit it out.
anonymousse February 8, 2019, 7:10 pm
I’m the only one with my first and last. I like it just fine, as my maiden name was a common first name+very common last name.
There’s a little over one hundred with the last name, and I’m sure they’re all in our family.
Skyblossom February 8, 2019, 8:30 pm
I’m the same way. There is no one else with my first and last name and it’s great. My husband’s last name is one of the ten most common in the US and I’m glad I didn’t take it.
My kids both wish I had given them my last name along with their dad’s last name. They both wish they had a more unique name and having mine included would have done that for them. Not hyphenated names but four names First Middle Maternal Paternal. I wish we had done that.
Kate February 9, 2019, 7:55 am
They should get their names changed then!
Kate February 9, 2019, 7:59 am
But honestly it makes no difference. I have a super generic first and last and kind of a cool middle that’s actually a last name off the family tree, but you don’t use your middle or third name or whatever it would be in your kids’ case. Basically only they would know what their second and third names are. It’s like catholic kids adding a name when they get confirmed. No one really knows or cares that they now have Dymphna as their third name. But hey, if someone wants a different name, go get it! Life is short.