As we were preparing to get married, E shared a “tradition” from back home that he wanted us to partake in. This might be difficult to explain as it’s regarding names and I try to avoid them, as well as the fact that the “tradition” turned out to be 100% fake, and we did something that I’m, to this day, trying to remedy because E felt like making up some random story just for shits and giggles.
The tradition he told me went something like this… and keep in mind at this point, I’d never yet been to Kenya, and I had no reason to doubt anything E was saying, because quite frankly I never thought anyone would be capable of making up stuff as extreme as this just… well just because I guess. I’ll never actually know why he did it.
Anyways, he told me that when a man gets married, at least in his tribe, it was custom for him to drop his last/surname and have his middle name became his new last name. So from that point on, only be known by his first and middle name.
So if I was dating a Billy Frank Smith, when we got married he would still be known as Billy, but our new last/surname would be Frank, and Smith would be done with. He said then as a man, you would be starting your own family and be more removed from your Dads ‘tribe’. Also, to make it even more complex, the middle names were to be chosen from a limited group of ‘family’ names. So that the man could still be recognized as part of this certain tribe. He said they do it this way so that as a man gets married it is his way of starting his own tribe/family.
I hope I’m explaining it well, because trust me it was confusing as heck to me. Probably because it’s not a tradition that his tribe had been following for centuries or has ever done. It was something E made up in his twisted mind. But I trusted him, because this was the man I was going to marry so I figured he was telling the truth, and I had no reason not to believe.
Therefore at our wedding we had to make a big deal during a speech to explain how we would be known as Mr and Mrs M. instead of the expected original Mr. and Mrs. S that everyone was expecting. Since E was still dealing with immigration issues though and both of our names were on so many of those documents at that time as our maiden names, neither of us changed our names at that point, which was for the best. The person it has affected most though, is little E.
When I became pregnant with him, more about this whole name thing was ‘explained’ to me by E. About how the middle names should be chosen from tribe names etc. At this time, our plan was that we would be moving to Kenya and living there on a more permanent basis, and I really wanted my kids to fit in as much as possible and was counting on E’s advice to make that happen. So E supplied me with a list of about 5-7 male names from his family tree that we had to choose from for little E’s middle name, that, according to E would one day be his last name. We settled on a name that sounded good when said start to finish “little E, then M then the last name M’ that we would all have one day once we finished our paperwork. So it was decided. I thought. Until literally 5-10 minutes after I had given birth to little E and I was drugged up and totally out of it and E decides to ask if we can change the middle name to be E’s current last name of S. So that when little E gets married, he will have E’s family name. Confused? I was too. I said yes, because I just didn’t care at the time, I was just glad my baby was healthy and I had successfully brought forth life.
So little E now had the initials E. S. M. Not to bad eh? Well, it was fine, until we flew with our little boy to Kenya, where low and behold, his family and pretty much everyone else there told me that E was full of crap. They’d never heard of that tradition before. I was mad. Now E has gone and messed with our kids names! And for what???
I confronted him about it and all he could say was that he must’ve been mistaken, and that oh ok, we’ll keep the original S last name like usual. I couldn’t believe it. Did he not realize that now little E has the S middle name and now E says it should be his last name too!?!? Like are you that idiotic? Your want our son to be called little E then Smith Smith for example? No thanks.
So I bring it up today because little E has finally chosen a new middle name. He understands that his middle name of S will now be his last name so he can match Z and Dad and Mom and all share the same last/surname and since I am too stubborn and did not want little E to just switch the names, mainly because I don’t want E to have that small pleasure after all the chaos his lie caused, we’ve been taking our time deciding on a new middle one. And little E choose it today.
We’ve read through many names and meanings and little E choose the name Theo. It means divine gift and he loves it and although there are others that I would prefer, I don’t mind giving him the lead on this choice as I can see the confidence it gives him. Plus it’s a step up from last summer when he wanted to change it to Tyrannosaurus. Plus if it was that awful I would always veto it. But I think we choose well and I’ll be working on the legal process to change it throughout the coming weeks. Oh and yes, it’s already been documented in the divorce that I can change his name without consent from E, because of the exact reasoning above. So we’re in the clear.
So, I guess all I can say is I’m not a fan of tradition.
-Avicii/Wake Me Up/