I once heard of a woman who embraced the inevitability of spinsterhood by having all of her linens and silver monogrammed with her own initials. As marriage looms ahead in the near future, it’s not the moving to Memphis, changing jobs, or living with a BOY that scares me…it’s changing my name.
It goes without saying that I’ve been a Lowman all my life. I wasn’t a fan of it while learning to spell in kindergarten (and living on a street called Secretariat didn’t help matters, either). I resented it while in high school because it wasn’t a ‘hot girl name’. There’s a certain downturn of the mouth that happens when saying ‘Lowman’… Also, because every other WASP named their daughter in the 80’s ‘Sarah’, I was constantly called by my full name in my co-op classes.
But then came college. My last name miraculously became a term of endearment. Possibly because of the endless manifestations of nicknames that can come from it. Low-woman. Lowmonster. Slowman. I got to the point that I was offended that someone called me by my last name who didn’t know me well; I never answered to Sarah except in classes and in a professional setting.
And now I’m about to give it all up. I’m going to shrink my identity to a single initial that will be overshadowed by Reynolds. I’ve threaten to do the most unsouthern-like thing of all and hyphenate. But then Asa, sweet as he is, tells me to quit being stupid.
Regardless, I’ve got to embrace it because I’m getting towels monogrammed. And sheets and napkins and silver and whatever else Pottery Barn tells me to. But there’s some pretty decent stuff coming along with that name, like the guy who has it now. Plus, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be in my 80’s and Serena, Kathryn, and Amanda will still call me Slowman. Because I’ll always be one. I’ll just be a Reynolds, too.