What's in a name?

I think one reason why I'm thinking of changing my name, is to redeem it. Because now, finally, I like it.

When I was born, in 1950, my parents chose to name me Morna. Morna Moore. No middle name. This was not an era when oddity was a good thing. The other girls were named Debbie, Susan, Sharon, Nancy. Everybody else had a middle name. Nobody else had the same initials as Marilyn Monroe - actually, I liked that comparison. But then Marilyn died, in a mysteriously shrouded, suicidal way. That put a dampener on the whole "MM" thing.

I hated the name Morna. When well-meaning, possibly even sincere adults said my name was interesting, I knew what that meant. In fact, that kind of screwed up the word interesting for me. I begged my parents to change my name. My father told me that I could take whatever name I wanted, but I had to wait until I was much older to make the decision. Hmph.

When I asked why I had no middle name, my mother told me it was superfluous for a woman who would one day marry and take her husband's name, thereby moving her last name into middle name territory. I didn't actually get what she was talking about.

The sixties came along and "different" was good and I didn't pay that much attention to my name anymore. Although everybody else did. It is a fairly memorable group of syllables, is it not? Morna Moore . . . Morna Moore. I won't amuse you and embarrass me with a retelling of the many variations I was taunted with.

I'd say somewhere in the 70's I finally became comfortable with my name. My mother sent a check and a label to the Smuckers company in order to get me a t-shirt which proclaimed, in the style of their logo, "With a name like Morna, I have to be good." I loved it! I wore it a lot. Possibly sending out a different message than the one I intended.

Then along came the 80's and marriage; I screwed my mother's theory but good. First, I retained my maiden name for a while. That was cool, feminism having done its thing. But Doug and I wanted to have the same last name, so we both hyphenated our names. And we did it in the "wrong" order, because we thought it sounded better that way. Doug and Morna Crites-Moore. My in-laws weren't too thrilled, but I loved the new name. I thought it sounded so cool. And I was so proud of Doug for hyphenating his name too! How progressive were we?

I greeted the 90's with a fledgling craft business and that's when it hit me: my maiden name would be such a perfect artist name. Unique. Interesting. Easy to remember. Easy to spell. I considered changing back, but I didn't act on it. I kept thinking about it. And then came the 20-oh-oh's, and an increasing web presence: a website, a blog, an etsy store. I' ve decided to change my website name from SewnFolkArt.com to MyName.com. Sewn Folk Art was a great name, but I felt a bit hemmed in. What if I wanted to make something not sewn? Or not Folk Art? So, it's time for a change, but which name do I go with? Unable to decide, I've bought both domain names: www.mornacrites-moore.com (at the moment, if you use this, it will take you to my www.sewnfolkart.com website), as well as www.mornamoore.com.

So now what do I do? If I'm going to change the name, I really should have made the decision a while ago. But, as Kelly Shaw said, "The best time to start was twenty years ago. The second best time is now." On the other hand, if I don't change the name, then I need to be firm about the decision and stick with it, and stop revisiting it, and stop paying for unused domain names!

So, please, dear readers, give me your opinions and advice. I'd really like to know what you think. Oh, and just so you know, the marriage is fine, I'll still be Morna Crites-Moore with Doug, and he's fine with me changing my professional name if that's what I want to do. And I have no idea who Kelly Shaw is. :-)