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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's in a name?

Just a vent for this particular post. Looking for advice. Maybe I'm being stubborn, but I feel strongly about this.

OK, I have a daughter who is now 41 years old. I named her Cari Lee when she was born. But for some reason many many years later, she decided to make a big change in her life, which included changing her name to Carma Haley.We haven't lived in the same area for about 20 years, except for a short time when she moved near us, so we have never known her as anything but Cari. The only people who call her Carma are her "new" friends. So she is asking me not to call her Cari because it confuses people. I told her just to tell them that she was named Cari but changed her name and that her mom and family just couldn't get used to the change. Am I wrong? I don't see a big deal, especially since we live in different states. I don't call her anything most of the time, lol.

So what do you think? If your child decided to change their name from Jim to Billy Ray, could you get used to the idea and call them that?

Maybe I will call her: ❦ (The daughter formerly known as Cari)



Bethany said...

My sister "changed" her name as well because she wanted to fit in with her alternative "friends". I don't know if she's legally done it or is just trying to please those around her as it's a fad going through the community.

She just says that her name isn't "romantic" enough to use and wants us to call her by it as well.

I think her other reason for doing it as her divorce was bitter and wanted to change her name to forget what happened. Your daughter may have gone through something traumatic and is doing the same thing.

I've just acknowledged that she has changed her name but she'll always be my sister and that won't ever change.

bettyp said...

You know I have no answers for this but I can tell you I have always disliked my name 'Betty'.I think I was named after the actress Betty Davis!Yuck!!!
I would love to be named Beth but never was head stronge enough to do it.All I can say is if she is happy with it then just love her and let it be.

Staci said...

My niece and nephew both changed their names to reflect their father's Hawaiian heritage. To make it more confusing, the names are all but the same, one letter difference. They did this a good 10 years ago, and I still struggle with getting the new names right. When I talk to my sister, I tend to say your son/daughter.
I can understand hating a name, I've always hated mine, I think it sounds cutesy and frivolous, two things I am not and never have been. In fact, I feel like my name grates on my nerves and ears!
Even so, if my children changed their names, I don't think I'd ever be able to call them by a new name. I think I'd probably revert to a nickname.

It is a hard thing. A name is the first gift you give a child, and the gift that lasts for their entire lifetime. It would hurt to have that gift rejected.

Gari said...

My sister changed her name, also. All her friends and her husband call her by her new (now 20 year old) name. But my mother, husband, most of our children, and I all call her by her given name. We all have told her that if we think of it we will try to remember the newer name but we really only know her as her first name. She has gotten ok with this, after a few years of us trying and failing. ;-)

Roma said...

She will always be Cari to me!!
No matter what her friends call her.

DragonPoodle said...

I find life enriched by the fact that we each have many names, that the names we carry change through our life span (especially true for women,and even more especially for us multiple-married ones), that different people may call us by different names and nick names. All this seems normal and good to me. All are different facets of our identity.

good luck, I hope you and your daughter work this out.

Vesuviusmama said...

You gave birth to her, I figure you can call her whatever you like. My college friend is an Alexandria. In college, we called her Alex, but everyone else from before college and after college calls her "Ali." I can't call her Ali, that's not how I knew her. She's been good about not insisting. Then, I have a high school friend who was Missy, but now prefers to be called Melissa, now that she's grown. Me, she still lets call her Missy. I think it is fine for folks to change their name or what they want to be called, but to understand and allow people they've known for a long time to call them by the name they've always known them by.