status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
I have a very boring surname; a single-syllabled yawn-inducer of a surname.
In fact over the years, one of the most exciting aspects of potential matrimony has been the thought that I would be presented with a perfectly legitimate reason to change it.
And yet here I am; spliced, ringed-up and officially wed, but without a single appellatory-alteration to show for it.
But, why? You might ask – as I myself do on a semi-regular basis…
Perhaps I should start with the why nots.
Well, it’s certainly not in any way because I’m a feminist (although I am, in the men-and-women-are-equals way), in fact it makes perfect sense when creating a family to give them the same surname, whoever’s it may be.
Having carried a child for nine months, squeezed it painfully out through a hole that is patently too small for such a purpose, fed it, worried about it, and taken marginally good care of it; I certainly don’t want to misplace it in the fresh produce aisle only to realise that the sole links the authorities may find to connect me to my offspring are our shared knock-knee affliction or the results of a long-winded DNA test.
I also can’t blame the lack of name change on a desire to keep the family surname alive – I am about as clannish as I am patriotic.
Could it be because the mere thought of the bureaucracy involved in changing my surname in a country where it is not the cultural practice chills me to my very vitals?
That plays a part, certainly; but in fact the primary reason I can’t seem to bring myself to alter my nominal identity is far more basic than any of the prior options:
It is simply the blinding realisation that having been plain old “me” for an entire thirty-six years, I find myself in no way inclined to get used to being someone different, even if it is solely in name.
So the very boring surname stays.
And the offspring – already facing confusion by being born to a British mother and a Romanian father, in Italy – will add to its international credentials by following the Hispanic habit of carrying its father’s surname, followed by its mother’s very boring one.
This is Status Viatoris, finding out new things about herself every single day (none of them especially interesting, I might add) in Italy.