A Rose by Any Other Hyphen

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I made the mistake of changing my name late in life. I did this without thinking it through. Some very nice social worker told us when we adopted the boys that they would be better off if we all had the same last name, and before I knew it I was sitting in a courthouse paying good money to make my life more complicated.

Worse, I adopted the dreaded hyphen. I am no longer Kevin Paulson. I am Kevin Fisher-Paulson. And worse still, if you throw in the rank and education, I am Captain Kevin Thaddeus Fisher-Paulson, MBA, and I guarantee you that won't fit on an American Express Card. It takes 10 seconds more to sign my name. There are 17 ways to misspell it, and that's before you get to the Thaddeus.

I went into a bank that shall remain nameless and this snippy teller told me that he could not find either my name or my money. We tried searching by last name, then first, then middle and 20 minutes later the teller said, "You got your name wrong. It's not Fisher hyphen Paulson. It's Fisher dash Paulson."

I actually like the idea of a dash in my name, but that's not my legal name. It would be like calling myself Fisher ampersand Paulson or Fisher space bar Paulson.

And then there's the explaining this to my straight brothers. When my oldest brother said changing your name is "so gay," I really couldn't argue. He asks questions like, "How come you let the Fisher name go first? Does that make you the wife?"


Worse, I cannot even use Paulson as a maiden name since my friends all know I lost my maidenhood sometime back when Coolidge was in office.

The problem is that everyone in the 21st century is keeping up with the Jones-Smiths. If my son ends up marrying his kindergarten sweetheart, he's going to sign his checks as Zane Thaddeus Fisher-Paulson-Asten-Bennett.

The Capulets and the Montagues never had this problem.

With a Perspective, this is Kevin Fisher * Paulson.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a captain with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.