November 13, 2008

Kish is re-Schmitzed

If you didn’t know me pre-marriage, my maiden name is Schmitz. It’s a cool last name and all – unless your first name is Kish and you have aspirations of being a television reporter as I did when I was in college. My parents obviously weren’t thinking of that in 1965. Kish Schmitz is a tongue-twisting combination. Add a Molson or two to the scene and name is even more difficult to comprehend. My parents certainly weren't thinking of that.

So almost 18 years ago when we got married, my bags were barely unpacked from our honeymoon and I was off to change my last name to Pisani. Well, Schmitz is BACK.

In Quebec, a woman keeps her maiden name as a legal name. When we closed on our home two weeks ago – I was back to signing everything Schmitz. It was strange after so many years. Although, Schmitz is easier to sign or say when combined with Ana – my real first name. Yes, I know, it’s confusing. And now that we’re meeting new people, I’m back to explaining the origin of “Kish” on a daily basis.

Yesterday I went to submit the paperwork for my Medicare card for health insurance in Canada. I’ll have yet another new legal document with Schmitz. Next week I’m off to tackle the driver’s license. Our marriage license has become just as important as a passport or visa these days.

I used to think that Quebec women were simply progressive with the name change dilemma. Now, I’m realizing that in this province, it’s simply easier not to change names.

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