T is for Tracey
Nearly twenty years ago the man who would be my husband asked me THE question:
‘Are you going to change your name when we get married.’
‘Sure, I said.’ It hadn’t occurred to me not to.
He seemed surprised. As well he would. We’d already had the discussion about how for “just one day” it would be nice if I conformed. I’d finally agreed to the church wedding (mainly because outdoors in May in Canberra was not a wise decision). I’d agreed to the white dress, (although insisted on designing it myself) even though I don’t do either white or dresses. I’d refused to give in on the ‘obey’ thing, and the proper bouquet thing. I’d especially refused to do the throwing flowers thing, and neither of us believed in the whole bucks/hens night thing- so we all went out together.
It hadn’t occurred to me not to change my name- besides, I was a little sick of Lyons, and was due a reinvention. Also, I was working in debt recovery for The Bank at the time, and there’d been some threats received in the office. Given that the phone was in my name, it seemed easier to change my name, than it was to change Telstra’s records.
I told him that.
‘But how are you going to cope when people mix up your names?’ he asked.
It was a good point- effectively my husband has two first names, and by taking his surname, so would I.
‘No one would ever think that Joanne was a last name,’ I said. ‘No one will ever mix up my name,’ I declared confidently.
Our wedding day came and the priest announced:
‘We’re here to join Grant and Tracey…’
What. The. F@#%?
‘My name’s not Tracey,’ I whispered loudly, to the titters from our guests.
They’re four words I’ve repeated endless over the years: ‘My name’s not Tracey.’
In reply to emails that begin:
In reply to texts:
In meetings when colleagues say:
‘As Tracey said…’
Sure there’s been some light hearted variations over the years:
- The ubiquitous Dick…for Dick Tracey
- Tracey-Jo Tracey- always said in a drawling redneck accent
- The more playful, Trace.
I’m fine with that, with nicknames- after all, with a surname like Lyons, I got Roarer or Tigger for many years. There’s even a few extremely privileged people that are allowed to call me Tracey…with a wink and a smile.
It’s the thoughtless mistakes that have given me the irrits over the years- mostly from people who weren’t interested enough to either listen to the introduction, or too lazy to read the address on my emails.
Of course, most mistakes have been just that- unintentional…although that doesn’t make me any less annoyed…
Oh, and while we’re on the subject? I don’t do titles, so Mrs Tracey is also out of bounds- that’s my mother in law’s name, not mine.
Just lately, nearly twenty years later, I’ve been thinking again about names. Do I change it back to Lyons for the purpose of publishing fiction- to keep my astro and my other personas separate? Do I use a completely different pseudonym? Or are my questions prompted by a desire that simply is:
Don’t Call Me Tracey!