Beyond The Norm-Mel

Changing names...sometimes it's difficult

Back from my honeymoon, I've been trying to get back in the swing of a work routine while settling into my new home.

It's great being home in the Lower Valley. I was gone for about two weeks and was anxious to return home.

Since I've been home I've had several adjustments in my life. I'm in the process of moving and creating a home with my husband and I'm getting used to juggling two jobs, reporter and wife.

The biggest adjustment I have found has been at work, as I have taken my husband's last name.

For 28 years I have been known to all as Melissa Browning, but now I am changing to my husband's last name, Dekker.

Up until the day I came back to work I was planning on keeping my name the same in the newspaper. I figured it would cut down on confusion, but it seems so far I'm the only one who's confused.

I have made several phone calls at work and out of habit identified myself as Melissa Browning. Other times I have made calls and stammered, "This is Melissa...Dekker."

I am working on it.

Being older, I had never really heard my first name with my husband's last name until just days before the wedding. I didn't spend hours writing my first name with his last name, like girls did when I was in middle school and high school.

Occasionally during the engagement process people would say things like "Melissa Dekker, I like that," but it never really sunk in.

I don't know why I thought it would be easy for me to change my name. I still have high school and college friends I call by their maiden names.

I'm hoping that with the last name of Dekker there will be a little less confusion on my last name.

With my former last name I have been referred to as Brown, Brownlee, Brownie. I've had people say, "Oh, your last name is Browning, like the gun." And I've even had a " in Elizabeth Barrett."

So as I continue to go through the name change I will try not to confuse people and use both last names. It's Dekker now. There's potential for misspelling, but I'll take that chance.


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