My first name is hyphenated. All through my life, people have had a difficult time figuring out how to say my name. I blame the hyphen. Two simple names joined together by a hyphen shouldn't be that hard to say. I guess the hyphen throws all Phonics skills out the window. Growing up, it hurt my feelings that people I saw on a regular basis were still incapable of properly pronouncing my name. Part of me even wished that I had a "regular" name.
Now that I'm older, I really love my name. It's unique. If I'm in a large group of people and someone shouts my name, I know that they probably aren't looking for someone else.
Fast forward to my trip to the Social Security office. After my painful wait (see a few posts back to read about my experience), I finally got up to the window. The woman began to put in all of my information in order to get my last name changed. All of a sudden, she looks at me and tells me that she can't put in the hyphen.
I was crushed. The hyphen had been part of my name for twenty-two and one-half years. When she told me it wouldn't allow her to type it, I got nervous. Was my new social security card going to come without the hyphen? It certainly sounded like it was. For the next two weeks I thought about it a lot. If there were no hyphen on my card, the license bureau wouldn't put a hyphen on my new driver's license. I was going to systematically lose my hyphen. It would be like losing part of my self.
After just under two weeks of waiting, my new social security card came in the mail yesterday. On the address section, it showed my name without a hyphen. I was definitely bummed and hesitant about opening it. Not having my name hyphenated on my social security card didn't change who I was inside, but that tiny line has been a pretty big part of my life. I slowly opened the envelope and saw my new card.
There was a hyphen!
The people at the main social security office obviously have brain capacities far superior to the people at our local office. They saw that my paperwork requested that only my last name be changed, not my first. Also, I've had this social security number for more than two decades now, so it was clearly on file with a hyphen. They were nice enough to hyphenate my name for me. I was thrilled to see that little line!
Yes, I know you think it's stupid to get all worked up about a blip of punctuation, but it's part of my name! You can't understand unless your own name has something more than the regular alphabet in it!