I am the victim of identity theft, the Institution of Marriage style.
I always wanted to get married and have kids. Quite frankly, I never thought I would considering I was called Four Eyes, Too Tall Jones and Beanpole up until I was about 20. Seventeen years and three kids later, here I am happily married. What more could a girl ask for then a diamond engagement ring and wedding band? Who wouldn't want double indemnity for a spouse who croaks on the job? How cool is it that I never have to mow the lawn, cook on the grill or change the oil in a car?
Seriously, I'm just teasing. I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I love my husband and my kids. I will never have to be alone. Having said all that, I thought I'd share my biggest regret about being married. I should never had taken my husband's last name. I admit at the time I couldn't wait to be Mrs. Poltz. I guess the engagement ring and wedding band weren't enough to show the world I was legitimately hitched. I needed the new name to slap my old tormentors in the face!
To begin with, my maiden name was the same initial as my married name. So much for monogramming new bath towels. I'm even denied that pleasure of intitaling bad tests scores differently. It even irritates me that my signature is off. Pagnetti just rolled off the pen. Poltz always screws me up because I never perfected the letter Z in penmanship class.
Being called Mrs. Anything ages me 25 years. Not only that, I never got used to my new name. I spent more of my life as a Pagnetti than a Poltz. Sorry Charlie, 27 years of life as a Pagnetti trumps Mrs. Poltz for Pete's sake. I often read to my daughter's second grade class. I can honestly say I still look around for some lady name Mrs. Poltz when they ask questions. Who is this old woman you speak of?
Even if I introduce myself as Lisa, some people ignore me and reply using Mrs. Poltz. I'm still Lisa damn it! Did I mention that no one can pronounce my last name? I get everything from Mrs. Plots, Pulse, and Poles. It wouldn't surprise me if some genius called me Mrs. Pol Pot!
Since being married I've been selected to Jury Duty about six times. While I have my dear children as an excuse to dodge it, to this day it means weeks of arguing and threats from the Kings of Jury Duty. I'm lucky enough to get TWO notices each time. One for Lisa Pagnetti and one for Lisa Poltz. Seventeen years ago I happily went about the business of changing my name on everything from my Social Security Card to my subscription to TV Guide. As a newlywed I was under the assumption than all of these people would delighted at my new role as a wife. Instead it seemed they didn't give a rat's arse. It only meant more aggravation and paperwork. I feel their pain today. I can talk to the courts until my face turns blue. They refuse to believe that I am only ONE person. You'd think a simple phone call would clear this all up. Oh contraire, it takes contempt of court threats and endless written affidavits form yours truly. Connect the dots people! Have a look see at the Social Security Number!
Even if I wanted to, I couldn't hyphenate my name. It doesn't sound right. Take John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald and Sarah Jessica Parker for examples. They roll nicely off the tongue. Lisa Pagnetti-Poltz sounds like a dreaded disease or syndrome. The Non-Hopkins Lymphoma of last names.
As Mick Jagger would say "you can't always get what you want." As for me, "if I try some time, I might find I get nowhere." What's done is done. With my luck if I change back to my maiden name I'll get FOUR Jury Duty notices. My college loan debts would suddenly show unpaid and my first name would get fouled up. Trust me there are endless ways to muck up "Lisa." Take my boss of eight years for example, She christened me Liza. I don't care if she was Canadian. There's no mistaking The Mona Lisa with Liza Minelli.
Liza Pagnetti-I Have no Pulse-Poltz