Whilst exploring my eligibility for dual nationality/citizenship - sorry if this is boring you folks, I know I have posted about this exciting development twice already, but this is another aspect - it gradually dawned on me that I am no longer allowed to legally use my maiden name in the UK.
Is this a little known fact ? - or only to me - it came as quite a shock I can tell you. I have oftentimes thrown in my maiden name, with a flourish, usually when completing a form or library card. For me it adds authenticity. I can actually feel it. Mrs Saz Brown doesn't have the same ring to it - no offence Larry- that my previous title of Miss Saz Amy Chevalier had - the names have been changed to protect the innocent or in this guilty - though more evocative perhaps with an exotic ring. For me. It is more representative of my ethnicity. I have French, Italian and English blood. Our blood line. Our origins. Our originality. Our authenticity. It is a rich tapestry indeed.
What we seem to be or even what people believe us to be. Is pretty subjective. Contextual. Like a painting, a poem or a book. It isn't just about the paint, the written word. It is about what we bring with us. Indeed, what I am is rarely what others percieve me to be. That is, I am only what they believe me to me. But for me. For myself. I can only be true to myself. And so I can never fulfill the perceptions of others.
I do feel I need to put my own personal house in order. So arranging these pieces of the social and domestic patchwork in a non hierarchical but relative and authentically sound manner, just feels right for me at this time. So, the French passports and Identity cards are ordered. Now, I feel I should make my name authentic also. I have been in touch with the UK Deed poll people who very patiently emailed me the detail. Twice. So I could get my head around the why and the when. It is about creating a paper audit trail, I'm told.
In many European countries one retains their maiden name. In the US aand Mexico too. For example Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onnasis. It tells a story. Mrs. Saz Amy Chevalier Brown. Okay, odd sounding but nevertheless authentic.
In 1982 I proudly showed my bank and the passport people my new bright shiny and symbolically unsoiled, uncreased, Marriage certificate and they - I thought- added Brown to my name. But no, non, nein, na, ndak. I became Mrs Saz Amy Brown. With pride. Beaming. Happy and complete. Satisfied. So I thought. 27 + years later. Not so. One changes. Like that handmade quilt, we add bits, repair tears and pulls. Patch it up. We learn more stitches. We adorn it or alter the shape. I too have altered. I have grown in some ways. Made huge changes of direction in some ways. Some of my ideas, beliefs and situation, even my bedrock has organically altered. For better and for worse. Essentially I am still the 17 year old, (oh no really!?) but with wiser eyes, ears, mind and heart.
Changing a passport or name isn't life altering. It is shoring up the edges of the quilt. Tidying up the side seams and even adding trimming. To secure the inner design. To enhance the inner spaces and to add to the foundation of the whole. That's what I am doing. It feels right. It feels authentic. This is me.
p.s. The French Embassy in London have called me twice as The Honory Monsieur le Consul, forgot to photocopy my UK passport. Secondly he omitted to point out that my marriage has never been registered with them. Enfin, my French passport & ID card will not have my married name on them.