A to Z Challenge: N is for Name

a-to-z HEADER [2015] - aprilHello again. So nice of you to drop by. I hope you enjoy my rambling thoughts. While it isn’t exactly warm today , -2 C (28 F) the sun is shining, and I’m in a good mood, so as they say, two out of three ain’t bad.

Badage linkedI can’t believe we’re halfway through the challenge, but then I’m positive, that as I get older, time moves far more swiftly than I’d like it to. I can remember work days that dragged on and on, but now, time flies–and I really wish it didn’t. One of these days I’m going to have to stop writing, stop blogging, and I’m not looking forward to that.

Today, for the A to Z challenge blog, I’ve decided to talk about something near and dear to my heart. N is for name.

I have a name; in fact I have a whole bunch of them. You know one of them, Susanne, since it’s the name I use everyday, but did you know that’s actually not my first name? Neither did I until I turned twenty and ordered a copy of my birth certificate. It came as quite a shock that, for my entire life up to that point, I’d been using my name incorrectly. Well, at twenty I wasn’t about to switch it up, so, I said to heck with it and continued down my erroneous path. How could I and my entire family have used the wrong name for so long? The answer’s simple. When I was born, the sisters at the Catholic hospital completed the paperwork, and as Frank Sinatra would say, they did it their way.

NSo, what does that mean? Basically, my name was supposed to be Susanne-Lee, Yes, I know the spelling isn’t the one you associate with a French Canadian family–that was their fault too. The Lee tag along is for my father, Leo, but if Susanne, with or without the Lee isn’t may first name, what is?  Marie, of course. All good Catholic girls born in the 1950’s and earlier, some later, had a variation of Mary in their names. Boys got Joseph. Families didn’t have a say in the matter. It was simply the order of the day. So if Marie is my first name, do I have to use it? I didn’t most of my life, but about thirty years ago, things changed, and the government insisted that names on official documents be the same as those listed on birth certificates. So, under government pressure to conform, I suddenly became M. H. Susanne-Lee. That’s the way it reads on my contracts and other official documents, but my university degrees and marriage license, essentially anything before 1985 belong to plain old Susanne–some of them even say Susan since teenagers like to be cool and creative. Only one says Sue. Imagine the fun I have if I need more than three pieces of ID.

So, I don’t use my first given name, nor my second, and blissfully trot through life on my third. When my children were born, you can be certain I filled out my own paperwork, and their names are recorded in the correct order. So, the next time you meet someone, remember, the name they choose to use may not be the one someone chose for them.

Don’t forget to click on the sunflower and visit other N bloggers.

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About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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4 Responses to A to Z Challenge: N is for Name

  1. I think it’s wise asking to fill out your own paperwork when your children are born. We trusted the CNM when our son was born and when the birth certificate arrived his last name was something we had never been even remotely connected to. I was so upset! Thankfully we got it straightened out, but it was quite a hassle going through all the red tape to take care of it.

  2. gapark says:

    I discovered the Catholic tradition of Mary and Joseph first names as I got into my Canadian genealogy. It can cause lots of problems, for sure! Nice post–Hope you are enjoying the Challenge!

    • Having a great time. I recently had to have my health card updated. The other had been issued pre-1985. She was adamant Marie had to be the name on the card! What a hassle when I go to the emergency room. She commented that Marie was a popular name in this town. DUH! Loving the challenge

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