red_rose.jpg Seven months after tying the knot with my wonderful husband, I finally got around to changing my name. Officially according to the Social Security office I am Audrey Jean Camp. And, as of 9:30 this morning, I am able to sign everything that way, too (new driver's license is on the way).

Now I just need to decide what to do with Audrey Jean Pancoast. The girl who was me for almost 21 and a half years has been replaced. Where does she go? I cannot simply cast her off entirely. But she can no longer take credit for the things I do. No, any and all success achieved from here on out belongs to Audrey Camp. Audrey Camp will be the one to graduate from college, begin a career, have a family, publish countless best-sellers.

But Audrey Pancoast isn't dead either. She did a lot, now that I think back. And, if I do say so myself, she was a pretty good person. That shouldn't end with a legal name change. And it doesn't.

I never understood why women made such a fuss about taking their husband's name. It's a symbol of unity. And I know that Jon doesn't care precisely under which banner we do unify... as long as it happens. So we chose his (easier to spell). Hyphenation would have made my name too corporate. I'm Mrs. Camp. Do I sound old? At some point I will be old. Then, perhaps, it will suit me better.

My signature will require a lot of tender love and care. I used to flourish my pen through all eight letters of Pancoast. Now I must learn to handle Camp in all its monosyllabic glory. Is there a way to make a capital C pretty? I sure hope so!

For now the remnants of Audrey Pancoast are still tangled up in me. Hopefully she can remind me to maintain childlike faith, a sense of fun and the importance of context when it comes to handling life. She'll most likely never leave me completely, and I'm all right with that. I liked her a lot.