What’s Wrong With That?

Recently – and not for the first time – I was called a shameless flirt.

It was clearly not meant as a compliment, but my instant reaction was “what’s wrong with that?”  I’m not hurting anyone, including myself, by what some may call shameless flirtation.  And some of what they think of as shameless flirtation may only be the “touchy-feely” way I was raised.  I’ve read all kinds of articles about how some scientists think casual touching should be interpreted, which seem to clearly disregard the intentional aspects of such touches.  I mean, really, when I touch someone, I generally know what I mean by it.   Don’t you?  And if you don’t, shouldn’t you?

And then we hear all the heavy analysis about what it “means” if I play with my hair, or touch your arm, or hold my elbows, or cross my legs, or whatever.  Not that I think there is nothing real about “body language”, but it seems we’re trying too hard.  We’re over-thinking.  Maybe my hair is in my eyes.  Maybe I’m making a point.  Maybe I’m cold.  Maybe I’m showing off a great pair of shoes (highly likely).

Halloween flirting.

Halloween flirting.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am flirting with you.

What’s In A Name?

Recently, this article about whether married women should give children their surname, or their father’s surname, has been popping up on Facebook.  Any number of my friends posted it, as did I.  Now, obviously I am not married, nor do I have children, but I do carry my father’s name.  Or, as it’s more realistic to think of him, the sperm donor.  I personally never met the man, though there are a few pictures around of infant me in his arms.  Ugh.

My mother very carefully said nothing against my father until she felt I was old enough to understand the shades of gray she seemed to see in the situation.  She was wrong (one of the few times) – I never did see those shades – to me, it was black and white.  I could accept that he wanted a divorce, that he left, even that he had a girlfriend.  However, the absolute rejection of me (and my sisters), including evading child support, made seeing any gray impossible, especially when we were struggling.  Or when I thought I was going to have to leave college as they wanted information from him for financial aid (thank you, Dean Case and Amherst College, for seeing past my snarky comment of “if you can find him, you can take ALL his money as far as I’m concerned”.)

And yet, I carry his name.  I have often thought about changing it, perhaps to my mother’s maiden name.  But then, that’s the name of another man I never knew, though through no fault of his own.  And I can certainly judge his “worthiness” by the children he raised.  So why haven’t  I changed it?  Well, I’ve been working long enough in the same field that many people know me by name, and I’m getting tired of coming up with biting responses to far too personal questions.  And my sisters.  I’m not sure they would like it, as they also carry his name, and I’m not sure they have the same level of resentment that I do.

keep-calm-and-whats-my-name-againIt’s so funny…if I were getting married, the choice to change my name – or not – would be taken for granted.  But as a single woman who thinks of changing my name for my own reasons, I feel like I would have to explain.  I know, I know, that’s my own problem, yet it is a real one.

For now, I’m leaving it alone.  For now.  I’m never really sure what I might do in any given moment, let alone at any time in the future.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

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