I never even wanted to be in the B's anyways! Never. B's are blase, boring, not pleasing to the eye, no fun to write. I wanted to be in the L's, S's, M's, D's, or W's even. These are the capital letters I loved to swirl in graphite or ink with my whole hand in flight--right palm side-skimming the hard, cool surface of paper. The tip of the writing tool had to feel just right, so I made sure the paper was on a tapping hard surface like an ice skater checking the feel of the ice. If it felt too unforgiving, I'd add a second sheet of paper, which was swiftly yanked back out from under if it felt too spongy. It had to feel inviting. Slippery, but not too, or it'd be easy to lose control. I'd shimmy into whatever 'writer-friendly' position struck me and begin the art of Capital Letter Writing.
I'd pretend to have different names. Ones starting with graceful, flowing curvacious letters which I'd over-dramatize by trailing the end strokes round, across, and around again, like some wild ivy probing places it has no business being. But it was so fun. I wanted my last name to be changed. I longed for it. Okay, I was dying for it! Understand that I was not pining for marriage, but simply the name change alone. I felt girls were lucky this way. Boys would always have to have the same stupid names no matter how bored they became of them. But not we girls, my friends and I. We would pick names we loved, selectively date only those with names we yearned for. So we thought.
My last name was Blake. I enjoyed it for a while. Until I started to learn how to write. Then I began to lust after those dazzling, romantic other capital letters. The first letter made all the difference, y'see. I loved S's the most. Still do. But man, could I ever make T's! I used to get compliments on them when I passed notes in school. Never had the word 'the' looked better at the beginning of a sentence than those in my capitalized teenage T script. God, how I wanted to be able to make M's like my mothers! They began with a teensy weensy teardrop, then up over and down in a queenly arch followed by two elegant humps, the second just a tad shorter than the first. And then came that seductive, tender, ending curve which dared take the liberty of dipping below the line, like a stretching cat.
I remember also being jealous of my sister's D, for Dianna. Not only did I love the sound of her name, the open-mouthed vowel change mid-syllable, but she had that gorgeous D to start it off with. It just wasn't fair. I made page after page of coveted D's. At least I owned one for my middle name. But middle names are mostly so excluded from reality! So anyhow, can you imagine how disappointing it was, after all, to marry and only change the last two letters of my name? It was unbearably disgusting after all that waiting, all those exhilarating possibilities up in thin air.
Oh well. Never once did I think how unfair it was to not be able to keep the (ho-hum) beloved family name. Now I think about how it was my father's name, wonder what it would've been like to keep my mother's name, Oakes. But then again, that was her father's name, right? And all the last names were from the fathers weren't they? I think about how last names originated, what with populations growing and men being the ones out and about in the community, so associations were based on their jobs, characteristics, etc. causing women to have names such as Angelique Blacksmith. I wonder what it would've been like if the same associations had been made over women's jobs. And men would have to wear them. Would we have Ben Dish, Jonathan Churner, or Butch Quilter? The whole issue is humorous to me. Of course, tradition has been smashed to smithereens now. But here I am detached from any husband and already inside feel like that little girl again--wanting to dote on names as if they had power to change my persona. But this is only about names. Hold the husbands please. I'm a whore for a new name. Off with the old and on with the new. I think I'm longing to own my maiden surname back again.