When we were getting ready to be married all those years ago something happened that changed my life. We had gone to visit my grandparents for Easter and my grandfather said something to me that struck me in the solar plexus.
He said: You'll be married in a few months and then there will be one less Tisdale in the world. All that will be left are me, your Sweetie (my gran) your parents. There are no more after that.
I went home and pondered his words in my heart and I thought that I really loved being a Tisdale. I loved who I was and I did not want to change my name...my identity. I sure as shit didn't want to fall into that old fashioned trap where you not only lose your last name, but your first name as well. How many of my grandparent's generation called themselves Mrs Husbands First and Last name??? That was like totally losing sight of who you were as if you weren't a whole person without a husband.
A few weeks later my grandfather dropped dead of a heart attack picking up pecans in his front garden and his words were there in my brain--There was one less Tisdale in the world. I was trying to think of a way to broach the subject with Spiderman. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but I felt I needed to keep my name so I could still be me. but as always, that man knows me better than I know myself. He came to me and said, "I don't think you should change your name when we get married." So that was that. Or was it?
You cannot imagine the amount of grief we got over it in backwards Louisiana. Friends at our baptist college told me how Spiderman (and his family) would never respect me again for my selfishness.
We did it anyway. But it took an act of congress to get them to print it correctly in the local newspaper. Only because I had a friend working there did it get flagged up and not once, not twice but THREE times did someone phone and double check that I wasn't to be listed as Mrs Spiderman under my wedding photo but Mrs Spidergrrl.
Then when we tried to open a joint bank account we were refused until we brought our marriage licence in to prove we were not "living in sin." We brought it in and requested that our cheques be listed as:
And you know what? 6 weeks later when our cheques arrived they said Mr and Mrs Spiderman. We phoned the bank furious and they said they thought we had made a mistake. I mean we were married, right? So of course we had the same last name.
Once a lady at Walmart refused to sell us birth control because the cheques has different last names and we weren't wearing wedding rings. Seriously.
Sometimes hotels would not give us a room unless we showed our marriage licence. it was a nightmare--but we never gave into the pressure to be "normal."
So this year to commemorate 20 years of marriage--and 23 together--I celebrated with a new tattoo and Spiderman celebrated by rolling his eyes and humming circus music.
Spiderman once said to me that we didn't need the same last name to unite us--all we needed was an ampersand. So that's what I got. |It is beautiful but still in the scabby stage at the moment, so I'll take a photo later when it heals.
We also celebrated by training into London, having a slap up meal at our favourite veggie restaurant Tibits and then hanging out at geek shops like Forbidden Planet and GOSH! Comics before heading off to the theatre to see the Olivier award winning musical of Roald Dahl's Matilda.
It is true--all you need is love..and an ampersand.