Monday, 28 January 2013

What is in a name????

I have a name. Well they are four, but the English diction tells us that its still a name. So my Name is Kateeba Kaganzi Tanya Diane. That's my name... not names; Name.
I was having dinner with a cousin recently and somehow we got into a conversation about Identity. Then as I was trying to Open a g-mail account for her, it turned out that all her preferred options were not available. So I suggested we use her initials including her Husband's name. I call it her husband's name because she views it as such; not her marital name. So anyway when i suggested we add her "marital" name scraping off her maiden name she strongly objected. Her reason being "I don't like that name, Its not even my name". Does this mean she loves her husband any less? No. She just doesn't want to be called by "his" name; simply because she doesn't like the name or the sound of it or whatever the reason may be and its "not her name".

 Many people will argue that it is her name, and they would be right, except for the simple fact that she doesn't identify with it, so it can't be her name. It is simply her husband's name. You can't insist on calling someone something they don't relate with or wont respond to. Now, her strong objection to be identified by her husband's name got me thinking.... What is in a name? Does it matter what name you go by? Take for instance my scenario, My closest friends call me Diane, or Tanya, my Facebook "friends" call me Tanya Love, My high school friends Call me Kateeba, My family call me all sorts of things ranging from "kaganzi to Diane, to Diana to Di, to Tanya  I even have a friend that calls me Tanya Stephens; Does this mean I am not who I am simply because everyone has a different way in which they relate with me? No. Does it change who I am? certainly not. Whether you call me Tanya  love, or Toro_belle (Twitter handle) or Diane, Or Di, It doesn't matter. My personality doesn't change. I still remain hard headed, Talkative, Social, Principled with an occasional attitude problem. I am still ME at the end of the day regardless of how people refer to me.

I can however tell how close I am to someone or how long I have known them by what they call me. Now there are Women who can't wait to be called Mrs X or Y or Z, not because they don't like their names, but am sure they have their credible reasons which are valid; like my young sister. She had no hesitation dropping her "maiden" in exchange for her new "marital" name simply because she felt it symbolized her love for her husband and the beginning of their new life together, so new name-> new life. And she seems to be adjusting to it with incredible ease too. Then there is My Big sister who has been Married for 13 years and still goes by her "maiden" name. I guess she's having a harder time adjusting and adapting to her new name than my young sister did. You'd think that after 13 years of marriage, she would warm up to it...But no; she just wont let go of her Maiden name. Not only wont she let go of it, but that is the only name she uses, we even have trouble writing her invitations because we cant write Mr and Mrs X, we have to write Mr X and Y(her maiden name). It can be quite frustrating as you can Imagine, even confusing sometimes to some people. But; I get it.  I get her. Some people only know how to be a certain person, and the only way they identify with themselves as that person is with their name. That name they have grown up being referred to by; the only person they know how to be that the whole idea of drastically changing their name  to them feels like becoming a whole other person. Take for instance my friend Wycliffe.  He hates being called Y-clef he always insists his name be pronounced as wi-cliff not cleff simply because he doesn't want to be compared or in any way related to Wycleff Jean (the musician) so its Wycliffe not Wycleff.

  Am always saying when I get married i will remain Diane Kateeba. Not because I wont be proud of my husband or however people choose to see it, but because I like my name, I like the sound of it. I would like to accomplish things in my name. The name I have now, because that's all I know to be.
 Its a good thing when we adapt our significant other's name... as it spells out clearly that we belong to that person... however I also think that If you are not comfortable with it, don't go by it. Simply be you. Whatever you choose to be called, let it be something you like to be identified with or are comfortable with, If you don't like it, don't respond to it. After all its just a name. It doesn't change who you are, what you can do, or what your destiny will be. Its just a way to be identified, and identify with.
Cheers

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