I have a husband and my surname has machiavellian fricatives. Life is good.

So, How’s Married Life Treatin’ Ya?
and always like that. Always italicised and always as though each word has a capital letter (and yet it’s always in’ ya).

Here is my (and uh my Husband’s) final answer :

It’s just like Un-Married Life. Only I have a Husband(Wife).

And that’s the god’s-honest truth, ha! no. Rather it’s what I believe to be true. My objective truth (our objective truth?).

The day after Craig and I were married, it was our 5 and a half year ‘dating’ anniversary. FIVE AND A HALF YEARS. That’s quite a long time in anyone’s life. And as such there wasn’t much we didn’t know about each other.
We’ve had the discussions about children. Which mainly consist of Craig: 16! Sarah: 2. Craig: 12! Sarah: 2. Craig: 6! Sarah: 2. Craig: 4! Sarah: TWO! Craig: heh. 24! Sarah: 2. ad infinitum.
We’ve had discussions about finances and ‘life-plans’ and travel and religion (a conversation that went Craig: No. Sarah: EVERY SINGLE RELIGION IN THE WORLD. then no.).
Since we’ve lived together since March 16th 2004 (under the gracious roof of my familial home(stead)) and on our own since November 12th 2004, we’ve both know our annoying messy-home habits, Craig never throws receipts away, nor does he file them, and Sarah sheds like a cat. a very very long-haired cat. And we’ve sorted out chores.

There was nothing else to do After the Wedding! it was all the same. Nothing to learn but no terrible surprises either.
Except of course that now I insist on pretty much all barriers going up and staying up because there is no way I’m getting started on the soccer team just yet.

Little things change. oh, like MY NAME! that’s not really so little, but even things like that have settled down now. We’ve been married for 2 months and 12 days and I finally find myself writing Sarah-Rose Burke as default, it’s not something that I have to specifically remember to do.

I expected a sense of cognitive dissonance when changing my name. I expected the tiny ferocious feminist that my mother planted inside me to start wailing and tearing her hair but there was nothing. I suppose it helps that noone has called me Mrs Burke without a wink in their voice, but I also thought long and hard about changing my name.
Some say that changing my name is allowing my husband to brand me (ooh dirty) but then most surnames can be seen as brands, either of one’s mother or father, instead I am taking a name to indicate the new family that we (uh that’d be Craig and I) are creating together.
I considered hyphenation. But then Sarah-Rose Mulligan-Burke is really too too hyphenated, my sense of amusement in my name only goes so far.
I tried to convince Craig to change his name too, and to mix our surnames together, creating one ourselves. He was very sceptical , even more so when I realised that we could use letters from both our names to create the surname Mugabe. I guess my sense of amusement in my name goes that far.
It came down to trying to work out what I liked about each surname. Irish – both. Insults – both (uh, Burke is pronounced like Berk). A tie. Finally when reading Stiff by Mary Roach (possibly my favourite non-fiction book of all time) I came across this passage :
For his part, William Burke was eventually brought to justice. A crowd of more than 25,000 watched him hang. Hare was granted immunity, much to the disgust of the gallows crowd, who chanted “Burke Hare!” – meaning “Smother Hare,” “burke” having made its way into the popular vernacular as a synonym for “smother.” Hare probably did as much smothering as Burke, but “She’s been hared!” lacks the pleasing Machiavellian fricatives of “She’s been burked!” and the technicality is easily forgiven.
-p51

so it became one up for Burke. And try as I might, google would yield no proof of Mulligan ever being a term for a form of murder. (morbid? me? never.) Besides, Mulligan is a golfing term, and I abhor golf.

The decision was made. I would take on Craig’s surname and discard my own.

Then about a week? maybe as little as a day or so before the wedding I decided (in a pique of sentimentality, although my mother would not agree) that I just couldn’t give up my “family name”. I come from a family with only girls, and the name could die with us (mood music) unless we did something to save it!
But I really wanted my murderous surname, and so I did the next best thing (which was really nothing at all) and decided to keep Mulligan as my middle name.
Unfortunately with an already rather long first name, a now cumbersome middle name doesn’t get trotted out all that much, save for application forms. But I know it’s there, and my mother knows it’s there, and now EVERYONE IN THE WORLD can know that it’s there. And that’ll do for now.

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2 comments

  1. Heather · March 27, 2006

    My best friend, here, just got married and you sound just like her. LOL!

  2. Sarah-Rose & Craig · March 28, 2006

    Oh, thank you … I hope!

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