I am married. My name is Mrs Taylor. I have a husband.
It still feels so surreal, not only because it has only been 48 days since our wedding (No, I’m not actually counting, my wedding website announces it every time I log on), but largely because having a husband, changing my name and being a wife were never things I envisioned, and certainly not happening to me.
But for all my scepticism on love and marriage, it does feel pretty good, nay, that’s an injustice -- it feels amazing, downright spectacular! However, I must warn you, there are some things that will take getting used to, and I have had some, well let me call them weird moments.
If I am not abnormal (which is totally possible), here are five things that may happen to you after taking the plunge:
5. You won’t recognise your name -- for some reason all your friends, associates and family will think that it’s cool to address you by your newly acquired name. Never mind that they have been calling you by your first or maiden name (in my case Lecia, Lecee, LG) all your life. Following the wedding, it will be nothing but Mrs So-and-So. On the day of your wedding and even a day or two after, you’ll respond enthusiastically, as I did.
Give it a week! Then be prepared for the 30-second delay before the realisation that the person waving excitedly across the street while shouting Mrs Taylor (insert your new name) is actually referring to you. Uhh? (Looks around in confusion.) 1.2.3...30. Dum duh dum dum dum “Oh hi! Yeah me. I’m Mrs Taylor.” I suppose over time this will become natural.
4. You won’t recognise your name on paper -- unless you were a love-sick puppy who was accustomed to doodling your boyfriend’s surname as yours (sorry, I can’t relate) then you should have some difficulty recognising your new name on paper. A week or so after our wedding we were visiting a friend at a building that required our names and signature for entrance. My hubby wrote both our names, then handed me the pen to sign. It took me a few seconds to recognise my new name. It was especially jarring because this was the first time I had seen it written down on paper.
The worst part of this is not only remembering to always write my new name but mastering the challenge of a new signature. This is a really big change because I’m still learning to perfect my original signature. It’s not unusual for banks, insurance companies, hell, anywhere that requires a signature to request that I repeatedly sign documents and present an ID to verify my ever-changing signature. If I can barely perfect signing the name I was born with, how long will it take me to come up with an acceptable signature for Taylor?! Sigh.
3. You are no longer hip -- no matter how you say the words “I’m married”, it will not sound trendy, young, cool or sexy. They conjure up images of an old maid, housewife, basically none of the really cool imagery that comes with the relationship status of single, complicated or engaged.
As a result, you’ll start feeling older and more mature (I kid you not). It’s like being married suddenly endows you with the tools required to become a responsible, well thinking adult. All my super sexy (aka stripper) outfits now seem highly inappropriate. My conscience (which was never this outspoken) has started yelling that I can no longer pass off blouses as dresses, since they barely stop short of caressing my vajay-jay.
Just in case you are delusional enough to fancy yourself still among the hip crowd, just wait until the first teenager, security guard or loader man addresses you as “Mummy” or “Maam” -- “Come nuh Mummy, Papine we a go!” Really now!
2. You’ll panic -- you’ll be sitting one day (watching TV, lounging around or probably just reading a book) and it’ll hit you like a huge block of ice -- I’m married! I’m f*&king married! The sudden reality that you can’t just get up and leave if you want is crippling. You’ll start second guessing yourself: what if this doesn’t work out? Can I really live with this person for the rest of my life?”
You’ll hyperventilate, and then quietly calm yourself down by answering your own questions: of course, it’s going to work because we love each other and we'll do what it takes. Soon you’ll be smiling as you think of all the reasons you’ll be happy together, and in that moment he’ll do something completely disgusting (like fart or belch), and you’ll immediately start doubting yourself -- again!
1. You are blissfully in love -- nothing can describe the euphoria you’ll experience when it hits you that your best friend, cheerleader, lover and support system is now by your side. You’ll recognise that you are a team. (Break out singing: Just the two of us...) Everything that you do is now a bit more meaningful because it’s no longer just about you, but the life you’ll build together. Soon you’ll start dreaming of the perfect house, the perfect car and the pitter- patter of little feet. Yikes!
After all, we fall in love because it’s the only true adventure!
“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will...” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe