Wednesday, October 1, 2014
How My Married Name Inspired My Spanish Pop Star Career
First, who is this strange lady and why does her name keep coming out of my mouth? It's like my brain isn't quite convinced that we are actually Sobrina Tung Pies; we're just politely talking about someone else who's not in the room. Like at the hospital last week when Alan was admitted for a few days. Whenever a new doctor would come in the room, the intros went like this:
Doctor to Alan: "Hello, Mr. Pies. I'm Dr. So-and-so."
Doctor to me: "Hi. Dr. So-and-so. And you are?"
Me to Doctor, speaking slowly and loudly, like how people give directions to strangers who don't speak English: "I'M MRS. PIES."
We meet doctors who are old enough to be our parents, and I've suddenly become Mrs. Pies, the jolly, crinkly-eyed, gray-haired old lady who is apparently my alter ego. To be fair, I figured being Mrs. Pies would kill two birds with one stone, including: 1) allowing me to introduce myself and 2) establishing that I'm Alan's wife. After it was too late, I realized I could still introduce myself, be Alan's wife and, most importantly, sound like a regular human, by saying "Hi, I'm Sobrina, Alan's wife."
Second, my new name sounds like a variety-pack of nouns, chosen at random and strung together. Alan, my darling husband, enjoys pointing out that my first name is the Spanish word for niece. My middle name sounds like a piece of anatomy, and my last name is the Spanish word for feet. I'm pretty sure the universe is encouraging me in my secret dream to become a Spanish pop star. Niece Feet has a certain ring to it.
Lastly, having never had a middle name before, introducing an extra syllable into my name throws a wrench in the way I say it. I've been Sobrina Tung forever (except that one Christmas when my parents gave me a Visa gift card addressed to Sobrina Tung Tung with the greeting "Felicitaciones!" below it. Again, universe, I hear you! Spanish pop star! I'm working on it!) But now I have two last names, with one disguised as a middle name, and I don't think it's fooling anyone. So I keep saying Sobrina Tungpies which simultaneously sounds like an unsavory dessert and a hyphenated last name.
But! There are perks.
Everyone loves pie, making Pies quite the lovable name.
If we quit our jobs and opened a pie shop, we could call it Pies' Pies.
My work email is now firstname.lastname@example.org. (Just kidding about the CIA part, but the spies part is real!)
I'm sure eventually I'll figure out how to own my new name fully and completely, but first, Spanish pop stardom...
Did you change your name? (Or will you?) If so, isn't it wonderful and weird?
p.s. the best, most unfortunate last name