Bernie Nordman: Bride-to-be apprehensive about name changeWhen a man gets married, he says “I do” and he acquires a wife. When a woman says “I do,” she acquires a husband and a name change.
By: Bernie Nordman, Budgeteer News
It has been a busy week at the Nordman-Wahl ranch. I have been running around preparing for my trip to Duluth. Besides all the busy work of getting ready to leave work and pack, I find strange things that I obsess on.
Then I share them with Roy … lucky guy. He will be so ready for me to head back to Minnesota. As we like to say, “How can I miss you if you don’t go away?”
My family and friends will tell you I will pick the oddest things and obsess on them. The obsession of late is my name. When a man gets married, he says “I do” and he acquires a wife. When a woman says “I do,” she acquires a husband and a name change.
The man can go on with his life as if nothing has happened; the woman needs to learn how to spell a new name and then change all our identification. It doesn’t seem fair. I think that the man should have to change something as well. I know that the guys reading this are thinking that they have to change their marital status and that is more than enough. Ha!
But back to the name issue: I have written my last name, Nordman, for more years than I will reveal. Now I have to learn how to spell a new last name. My biggest fear about that is I make horrible W’s. My last name will change to Wahl and I can’t make a nice W to save my soul.
At my bridal shower, my friend Jen gave me a cute purse notepad with a W on it. I had no clue why she would give me a notepad with a capital M on it. She just rolled her eyes, turned it upside down and said, “Hello, it’s a W. Your new last name will be Wahl.”
Oh, that made sense. I’m glad that she explained it to me. I was really lost.
In high school and in my 20s, I would practice writing a new last name. Mrs. Bernie WhomeverIwasdatingatthetime. All girls do that. I’m not the first … or the last. It was fun to try to write a name all girly and curly and so on and so forth.
Once Roy and I became engaged, I tried to write Mrs. Bernadette Wahl. I had to think about it; the W throws me.
Roy has watched me. And laughed. Then he will take my paper and just whip his name out without thinking about it. Well, of course he can do that: He has been doing it for years! I figure that when I’m on the plane flying to Minnesota, I will try practicing some more.
When I get done obsessing on my new last name, I start obsessing on my first name. My actual name is Bernadette. I don’t think I could spell it until third grade. I used to only use “Bernadette” for doctor appointments and religious-education classes.
The religious ed. teachers used to love the fact I was named after a saint.
I have more St. Bernadette cards than you can shake a stick at.
It’s a pretty name, but my family and friends always called me “Bernie” or “Bern.” When I was little, one of my papa’s friends would call me “Bernadetta the Italiano,” which is amusing, because I’m not Italian. Other than that, I have been Bernie.
Since moving to Montana, I go by Bernadette a lot more. It’s the only thing Roy will call me. He says that it’s too pretty of a name to shorten up.
It took me a couple years to realize that was all he would ever call me.
I had hopes that eventually the novelty would die and he would shorten it like everyone else who knows and loves me.
The few times he has called me Bernie, it didn’t feel right.
He is always amazed with my family shortens the name to Bern. He will ask me why folks in Minnesota want me to “burn.”
Most everything for the wedding is Roy and Bernadette, including our wedding announcements, vows and programs. I drew the line at our party favors, napkins and thank-you cards.
The napkins only allow for a certain number of characters. Bernadette alone pretty much uses all those characters up.
I can’t see myself sending out thank-you cards with the name Bernadette on them. Most people wouldn’t realize who they were from.
That is enough about my obsessions of the week. I really need to run off and finish packing for my flight to Minnesota.
I’m looking forward to starting to participate in the wedding planning. Next week I should have an update written from Duluth.
Duluth “expat” Bernie Nordman is going to get married later this month at the Haunted Shack. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.