Snakelike

Little Known Fact:  I was not born Lydia Page.  I changed my name (rather recently, as it were) because of things like Feminism and Autonomy and Daddy Issues, or something.  It was among the best decisions I’ve ever made, even though I still get confused when professors take attendance.  It was also the most tedious process I’ve ever undertaken. So. Much. Paperwork.

I’m happy to say I’ll always be Lydia Page– this name is not changing again.  I believe in marriage.  I really do.  I even think I’ll be good at it…some day in the extremely distant future.  I believe in marriage; I don’t believe in taking a man’s name.  I don’t understand what part of commitment equals giving up my identity.  A lot of gentlemen find me difficult to date because I’m mouthy about all these big ideas.  That’s fine.  (After all, “The Venn Diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you don’t want to date is a circle.“)

Anyway, last summer I was clearing up my jungle of a backyard and unearthed a nest of snakes.  I found their skins littered all through the grass.  At the time, I was embroiled in the most arduous steps of the legal-name-change process and the We’re-breaking-up-because-I’m-too-smart-for-you process.  I wrote an ill-conceived, sloppy poem about the whole mess and for some reason, I’ve convinced myself that you’re interested.

——-

I.
i found a nest
a writhing family
of snakes in the garden

beneath handfuls of
sun-crisped leaves
they made a home

perfectly formed skins
nestled on growing grass
ethereal scales
glimmer in the sunlight

a whisper soft touch
dissolves the remnants
shatters, crumbles
their gossamer skins

II.
I petitioned courts
and filed forms
to give myself a new name

past time to leave behind
the fragile skeleton of everything
that’s come before

the heavy hand
and polished boots
of my camouflaged
childhood

I changed my name
not to hide
but to finally life
autonomously

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4 thoughts on “Snakelike

  1. I am always interested! Have I seen this before? I feel as though I have, but then I am a loving stalker. In any event, I am still interested. Especially seeing as I hope to undertake this process someday. I would love to do it now, but there things like being politically correct… But you never know–my aunt knows of this wish (the problem of allowing family to view Facebook), and she could very well tell my entire family~. So there’s that.

    Anyway! For quite a long time I have thought that I don’t want to take a potential husband’s name. When I was younger, though, this puzzled me–because my name wasn’t one I liked or felt happy things about. But then I realized I could change it. And now, in collegeland, I go by my new name when I am not having attendance taken or turning in papers, etc. And it feels good.

    I am babbling. Your words are my favorite. Ahghdfggghghhhh. <– Incoherent love for you.

    And "the Venn Diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you don’t want to date is a circle" is my favorite thing. I mean, YOU are my favorite human… but that. Goodness. I love it.

    • A billion years ago, I told you I was re-purposing an ancient Blogspot post into a poem… this is the result! I’m super impressed with your brilliant memory.

      I hesitated for a long time, not wanting to cause waves, not wanting my ex-peers to know (you have to publish your intent in the local newspaper) etc, etc. Eventually, I moved on from most of my peers, realized that my family would accept it or get over it and just did what was right for me. Every now and then I feel a little goofy and insecure, trying to explain it to people but it was the BEST thing I could have done. I feel like I’m finally me, and no longer defined by You-Know-Who. What I’m getting at is, I support your desire to break from your Voldemort! I also understand that it’s a long process. Not just in terms of legal paperwork but on the emotions/feelings end of things.

      The Venn Diagram is my favorite, too!! As are you, lovely Katherine. (:

  2. You’re wonderful. I always love reading what you write. Always. I’ve never read anything you’ve written and thought “why am I reading this?” or wanted to just skim it or anything. So, yeah, you can marry ME. :P

    In any case, I’m so proud of you for changing your name! You’re a rock star!

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