Wednesday, January 14, 2015

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

So, I think I'm ready to change my last name back to my maiden name. Although it's somewhat convenient to have the same last name as my daughter, I don't think it's reason enough to keep it.

I looked into changing my name last year around this time, and it's a hassle, and takes time. I needed a new passport by the beginning of March, so decided against changing it, as I was worried it would be cutting it too close; and although I realize that legally changing my name now will involve having to replace my pretty new passport, plus all the original hassle and time, I'm now willing to do it.'s where I need help. To go back to my exact pre-marriage name requires some paperwork and an approximately 6 week wait. To change it to something else, for instance to change the middle name to something I like, it's paperwork plus about a 3 month wait, because--and I'm not kidding you here--you have publish your proposed name change in "a newspaper of general circulation once a week for 4 weeks in a row." Next you have to go to a court hearing with your proof in hand--your little newspaper clippings--to show the judge. That seems totally crazy, doesn't it? Circa 1956 or something?

But here's why I'm even considering it. My given middle name is Helmer. Yes, Helmer! I complained about my first name in a past post, but Beth? Well Beth is a gem compared to Helmer.

It's a family name, as you may have guessed. Although I totally get that you may have instead thought I was named after a cow, because that's what comes to mind when you hear it, right?

I do like the family connection it provides, so here's what I'm thinking of changing it to instead: Remleh (pronounced "REMlee"). It's Helmer backward, and was the name of a lake house that was in my family years ago. It's also the name of one of my second cousins.

Elizabeth Remleh Purcell vs Elizabeth Helmer Purcell. What do you think? Is it worth the newspaper clippings? Or no?


Mom C. said...

How about Elizabeth Purcell.... Middle names are way over-rated, right Ellie??? xoxo Mrs. C.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Mom has a good point! I only think of you when I hear Helmer, but I know you've wanted to change it up for some time now, so I think that's what you should do. I will be perusing the personals for your big announcement. That's a really, really weird procedure. So retro.

Good luck, Helmer!


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw Helmer.

I dunno, I love all the incarnations, including the non-middle-name one -- I've always thought I was *very* cool and unique for not having one.

But, yes, the four weeks of newspaper clipping are just too awesome to pass up.

Love ya, ERP, er, EHP.


Par said...

I loved the name Elizabeth Helmer Purcell 46 years ago and still do! And then there is that silver with EHP engraved on it....
Love, Mom

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Pat, er, Par *does* have a point, Beth. She *is* the one who named you......


PaT said...

Your wonderful Aunt --my sister Ann-- say she thinks you should chose the name that feels most like yourself when you say them...sage advice.
Love, Mom

Helmer fan in Central PA said...

there are so many childhood memories tied to Helmer, so I would be sad to see it you have to publish the name change in the Towson Times? i think you should :)
you'll always be Elizabeth Helmer Purcell to me..xo

Rog said...

I hear the lines at the DMV are real short these days. Go for it!