Tuesday, July 03, 2007
the story of a name
It’s a lunchblog update and boy do I have happy news.
Let me begin with the beginning.
I was named Lara Zoe Walter at birth.
My mom named me Lara, after the adultress in Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago. Zoe was my maternal grandmother’s name. And Walter was my mother’s first husband’s surname.
She was divorced from her first husband when I was born, and not married to my own father. So I ended up with a last name that really had nothing to do with ME at all.
The funniest part is, even though my father’s name is Larry Littman, she listed my father's name as Larry Walter on my birth certificate. My uncle convinced her to do that, saying it would look better, bastard child and all. So my birth certificate holds a lie. My mother is still angry at my uncle for convincing her to do so. Me, I just think it’s par for the course.
Ok, so. My grandfather called me Zoe from day one, after his wife who passed away shortly before I was born. Lara never stuck, and it’s good thing, because I’d constantly be telling people my name is NOT Laura, you know, with a U. Instead I have to tell everyone to call me Zoe. This got lots of laughs every first day of school in small town Pennsylvania where the most unusual name other than mine was Nils.
In my early twenties I decided to start using my grandmother Zoe’s maiden name: Krylova. Zoe Krylova. Now that felt like me.
Red tape and high prices and the need for a lawyer always stopped me from having it legally changed. But guess what. It’s EASY to change your name in Virginia!
$32 + a few postage stamps later I am now LEGALLY Zoe Krylova. I hope that you are all popping corks and cheering, because this is a monumental event.
All I had to do was fill in a form. Ok, it was rejected like three times because of ridiculously vague instructions. But all in all, it was pretty simple! Now the hard part is ahead, dealing with everything: DMV, Bank, Passport(s), Work. But it’s going to be happy hard work. Like giving birth.