Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In Which She Gets a Middle Name

Let's see...where was I?  Oh, yes!  I had begun my quest to find a middle name.  Well, not just find it...to have it ceremoniously bestowed upon me legally.  I began to pester my mother who thought that the idea was somewhat ridiculous.  

"Mom, will you pleeeeeeeeeease help me get a middle name?!

"How on earth would we possibly do that?!"

Then, I went for the maternal jugular:  "I don't know but...that's ALL I want for my 20th birthday!!!  I don't want ANYTHING else!!!  Nothing at all!!  Not one shoe!  Not one polyester pant suit!  Just a middle name!!!"

That did the trick as I figured it would.  Call in Uncle Billy.  He knew some legal stuff because he was a CPS caseworker.

"Well, you'll have to get a lawyer to petition the court for a name change.  Then, you'll have to go before a judge to make it legal."

Huh?! The process sounded daunting and expensive to say the least.  I was a tad discouraged but extremely determined.  I would have a middle name if I had to pay an attorney in installments of $5.00 a month for the rest of my life!  (We were not rich people.)

Slowly, with Uncle Bill's help, the plan began to unfold.  He talked to one of his judge buddies (juddy?) who was happy to help me out.  All I needed was an attorney to submit some sort of paperwork.  Hmmmm.  What to do?  What to do?

Aha!  Travis Kitchens!  He was my brother's high school friend.  And...he had just graduated from Baylor LAW school, ie, he worked cheap.  He was more than happy to help me because he really needed the 50 bucks that he charged us.

The next step was to choose a middle name.  That turned out to be the hard part.  I polled my friends and was given suggestions of big names like Suzanne, Michelle, and Nicole.  (I had just begun dating Alan, and Nicole was his suggestion.  I almost went with it because I really liked Mr. Alan Lackey.)  Suggestions of short names like Ann, Leigh, and Lynn were put forth.  Really?  Carolyn Lynn?  

There was the dream of someday having a lovely middle name.  It was fun to dream.  But, this was really going to happen!  It was like having a magic lamp but just one wish.  I had to get this right.    I began to stress out.  I filled sheets of paper with possibilities.  

Carolyn Michelle Kinzbach
(I can't really explain it, but I just wasn't a "Michelle.")
CMK
Carolyn Nicole Kinzbach Lackey 
(just in case)
CNL
Carolyn Adelle Kinzbach
CAK
("Cack?" Uh, that's a big NO.)
Carolyn Suzanne Kinzbach 
CSK
(a frontrunner because S looks great in a monogram)


I happened to be taking a great English class that semester.  I don't remember which one exactly, but we talked about Queen Elizabeth for a while.  So I tried it.


Carolyn Elizabeth Kinzbach
CEK 
("Keck" wasn't awesome, but it sure beat "Cack.")

Hmm.  Sounded good.  Regal, in fact.  It had lots of letters...I mean...as long as we were paying for it, I wanted to get Mom's money's worth.

And so it was that on March 3, 1977, I stood before the Honorable Judge Bill Logue in his chambers to legally become Carolyn Elizabeth Kinzbach.  I had to raise my right hand and swear that I wasn't trying to evade creditors or the law.  Mom snapped pictures as I declared that I didn't owe any money and hadn't broken any laws.  Travis Kitchens stood by Judge Logue's side looking all official in his Lawyer Man 3-piece suit.  Also in attendance:  my mother, my sister, Uncle Billy, and one Alan Loyd Lackey.

"I hereby declare that you are now and forevermore
Carolyn Elizabeth."
 
Sure enough, in 1979 I added "Lackey" to my name.
I am now and forevermore
Carolyn Elizabeth Kinzbach Lackey 
CEL
("Cell."  I know, I know, but what can you do?)


My 20th Birthday gift from Alan

And that, my dearies, is why to this very day, I sign all of my correspondence with cel.
Just tryin' to get Mom's $50's worth.

P.S. My sister wasn't give a middle name either.  Kathy (NMN) Kinzbach.  It didn't bother her.  Not one little bit. - cel

3 comments:

Lori E said...

good choice of a middle name! mine is Elizabeth too and I always use my middle initial because it was my grandma's name so it feels significant to me, just like yours does to you. Thanks for sharing that great story!

Carolyn Lackey said...

Thanks, Lori! So glad your mom thought your name through so carefully! {;-)

Word Nerd said...

Elizabeth is a fine name, if I do say so myself. ;O)