May 5, 2009

A Girl Named Sue

I don't have a middle name.

There, I said it, shun me if you must.

Actually, I technically do have a middle name, now. I made my maiden name my middle name after I got married. Because my parents didn't give me one.

My mom's middle name is Cooper. Her mom's maiden name. And she always hated it. It used to be tradition to pass on the mother's maiden name as the middle name, and so that is why. I don't know if she thought she would have to give me her maiden name and didn't like it, but I just plain didn't get one.

I hated not having a middle name. Everyone has a middle name! Growing up this conversation was commonplace:
"What's your middle name?"
"I don't have one."
"You don't have a middle name!?!?!?" followed by shock, surprise, disgust.

Nope, no middle name. Until I took matters into my own hands.

My junior year of high school I was one of the editors for the yearbook. One of the privileges of being editor was having your name engraved on your yearbook.

Well, I thought that simply putting Rachel Turner on there was the most boring thing ever. I needed a middle name on there. And so I went with Sue. (After my mom. I know. I'm so sentimental). And so my yearbook read: Rachel Sue Turner. And Rachel Sue was born. In fact, there are quite a few people, if asked, who would tell you that it was really my middle name. (Including most of my in laws). But it's not. I made it up.

And so when my own babies came along, much thought was put into their middle names. And I love them all. And they are called by their full names, or some variation thereof, almost every single day. I wasn't about to let them go through the embarrassment that I had to endure.

P.S. My sister doesn't have a middle name either. Well, I guess she does, now that she's married, but that's beside the point. She made one up for herself too. Beth. I like it.


Melissa said...

So, I found it interesting that you wrote about this, because it just totally PROVES my little idea. I was one of the lucky girls who had a middle name...still do, but I always noticed the reaction of girls that didn't. They either a) embrace it, and are proud of the difference, or b) totally hate the fact that they are void of a middle name, and make sure that their daughters all have middle names. My mom was the latter, and so made sure that my sister and I had middle names.

Just SO said...

I love that you made up your middle name. I have 7 siblings and all of us have middle names except the oldest. And I know she feels like she got gypped.

Rachelle said...

i laughed outloud on that post... loved that you "made it up"! way to go and take charge of the situation...LOL!

Mallory said...

That interesting. I had never heard of people doing this (because I was one who actually did have a middle name). But, in my husband's family, only the boys have middle names. The girls are expected to have their maiden name as a middle name when they get married. I thought it was kind of silly. I like that you made one up! So funny!

Kristina P. said...

That's so great that you made up a name!

janae said...

In my family - extended included - girls don't get middle names. I was always told it was because if you did you were basically forced to give up your maiden name. Either you dropped it at marriage, or you had four names. And since you can only put one middle name on most legal forms, you still end up dropping it. I was always really proud to be a Smith and I never wanted to give it up. I don't know that I embraced and felt proud of the difference, but I never really cared. In fact, in my experience I knew more girls without middle names than with. Interesting that you felt the opposite.

That said, Seara has a middle name. I'm just too sappy - I like to give family names as middle names. So she is Seara Kaye, after her paternal grandma. In fact, all my nieces but one have middle names. That one was the very first born, and her little sister actually has a middle name. My sister told me that had her first been given a middle name, it would have been Janae. I'm still trying to convince my sister that 7 is not too old to add a middle name. :)

ABrunettesLife said...

I was given a middle name, but for no other reason than it sounded "cute" with my first. To this day I still have not met another Jodi without my same middle name.
Jodi Lynn. So there are some drawbacks to having one too. Although my girls middle names aren't after family, I made sure they weren't run of the mill middle names either. Not whacko, just not boring :)

Wonder Woman said...

My parents disagreed on what my middle name should be. Mom wanted Nicole, Dad wanted Danielle. Mom won. But Dad called me "Alyssa Danielle Nicole" or "Danielle Nicole" all the time. I loved it. It's one of the reasons I loved Ever After so much, too. :o)

I love my kid's middle names and always thought I'd call them by the first and middle names frequently. But I don't. I call them by first and last because it's so much shorter.

I want to change that habit!1 Partly because when we're in public I get paranoid about calling them by their last name. (Isn't that weird?!)

Momza said...

There is nothing so lovely to our ears as our own name said outloud by someone else.
I love that you chose your momma's name--you could've chosen a celebrity or a chose your mom. Very sweet.

That Girl said...

Sure we weren't seperated at birth?

I ALSO don't have a middle name - or at least not on my birth certificate.(My maiden name now has the place of honor.) And I TOTALLY made up my own middle name, though it changed pretty much every year. Most of my friends made up their own for me.

And I hated not having one. I felt like I wasn't part of this exclusive club. I remember when I took my ACTs I left the "middle name" blank. The teacher handed it back to me and said I had to put something - so I put "n/a." It came back that middle name was Na.

Then there was the time at BYU when I registered to buy tickets for some play. But my name was too common. So they "assigned" me a new middle name, to distinguish me from the others. Then I had to remember this stupid middle name every time I went to a play.


I was editor of the yearbook, too, but I didnt' think of the power that I could have exploited ... hmmm ...

melissabastow said...

I don't have a middle name either!! But both of my sisters got one - totally unfair, I tell you. Tragically, I never made myself one up either. And to be honest, I'm not taking my maiden name as my middle name at any point of this earthly life (my maiden name is Van Nosdol - not wanting to use it should be obvious.) Thus, I continue to go through life middle name-less. sigh.

Anonymous said...

So is it better to have an absurd middle name or none at all?

I cannot decide.

Great post.

3 Peas in a Pod said...

The guy I dated before my husband didn't have a middle name. He was French so I just thought that's what the French did. I have always disliked my name because it was so common. I guess if I only had 2 names I might have appreciated it more!! Wherever I go there are always at least more than 1 Sue. My neighborhood has 2 and there are only 18 houses. I used to work with 4 other Sues and it was a very large company. My Mom wanted to name me Jennifer so I guess I was destined to be common no matter what my name. No offense to any Jennifers. I actually like the name but there are a slew of them as well.

Much love from NJ,

Melinda said...

My sister-in-laws all don't have middle names, expected to use their maiden names as middle names too. But I think thats stupid. Who uses their maiden name after they're married? I mean I'll always be a Pogue, it doesn't matter if its on a piece of paper or not. I would hate that too! Great post!

Britt said...

I used to feel sad I didn't have a middle name until I got married and realized how easy it is to only have 3 parts to my name. It makes life a little easier. I am the ONLY one in my family without one. My parents must have changed their minds when my sisters were born.

I like the tradition...but we have 3 boys so far, and I have so many girl names in my head if we ever have a girl she will probably have a middle name, just so I can use more than one of the girl names I love.

Rochelle Brunson said...

Everyone in my family has middle names, girls and boys. Everyone in my husbands family has middle names, girls and boys. But for some reason my sister-in-law doesn't give her daughters middle names, I don't know why.
I like middle names on girls (mostly because I don't like my maiden name, and I'd hate if it had to be my middle name), so we put lots of thought into all our kids' middle names. I think they turned out delightful.

Cranberryfries said...

Rachel Sue I loved this post. I remember (honestly it's a little vague --you know after children brain forgetfulness) sitting around the table in yearbook with the little group talking about you and middle names and what you were gonna do about it.

I had a middle name (and LOVED it--especially when hubby said Deborah Michelle will you marry me?) and made sure to give my daughters one. I agree with Melinda. Your maiden name is always with ya--I dont need it in my name. Fun post!

pan x 8 said...

That's so funny! I totally don't have a middle name either. I think out of all of the 11 children in my family I have THE MOST BORING name ever. Now that I'm married I feel my name tells a lot about me - my first name is American (which I am), my middle name is Samoan (which is my background) and my last name is Chinese (which I'm married to 1/8 of!)

See? How we can change anything to fit our mold! ;p

Beeswax said...

My Mom hated her middle name (and her first, actually), so I didn't get one. My made up middle name was JULY. no, I'm not kidding. Once I got married, though, I was glad I didn't have to choose between my middle and maiden. But then, I gave my daughter my maiden name as her middle, so she will have to choose between the two sides of the family, someday.

Heidi said...

I have two middle names and a maiden name, as well. So, I have five names--it causes a lot of confusion when your official last name is on a different line of your driver's license than the rest of your name. I have had to shorten it down to three names.

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