What’s in a name?

Janice was kind of wild. So was I. We worked together at Kodak when we were in our twenties. She accompanied us “guys” when we went to lunch together at the little restaurant next door and played pool. A couple Friday nights, she and I went out on the town. Just the two of us. We weren’t romantically involved, we just enjoyed each other’s company.

One Friday night we went into a bar that turned out to be a lesbian bar. We ordered a couple beers, stuck our quarters in the pool table and played a game of pool. We were then challenged to a doubles match by two women. I don’t remember who won that game, but I do remember that one of the women on the other team took offense at our being there as a couple; seemingly at our very existence. Words were exchanged between Janice and one of them; the woman broke a cue stick over the table. We were ordered out for being troublemakers. Once safely down the street, we laughed at how seemingly jealous of us, and utterly out of control that one woman had become.

Over the years I’ve tried to find Janice’s name in the phone book and on-line. I’ve asked former co-workers if they knew what became of her. I wanted to call her and ask her to meet me at that bar. She’d get a kick out of that. I finally found her, just recently. In the obituaries: Janice S—–, with her maiden name in parentheses.

Why, in these modern times, do women give up their names and take their husband’s? And virtually disappear in the process? For what purpose is this? Is the husband more important than the wife?

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