Wednesday, January 29, 2014

BY ANY OTHER NAME

My last name is quite the conversation starter. Everyone has an opinion. Still. I've been divorced for more than a year, and I'm still asked constantly if I'm maintaining Romo as my surname.

On this blog sometime in early 2013, I mentioned in passing that I'd be keeping Romo, but I didn't delve much into it. I didn't think it was a thing. Apparently it is. Most people can't understand why I'd want to keep "Mark's last name" and my retort, "but it's not 'his'; it's mine now" hasn't been good enough.

The one person who understood immediately and without a word of explanation from me was Jim's 19-year-old son Dustin, who, it should be said, isn't one of Mark's fans, seeing as my ex-husband had an affair with his mother that ended up fracturing Dustin's family. In conversation one night when my last name came up yet again, and the question was the usual one, "Why in the world wouldn't you go back to your maiden name?" I didn't have to answer. Dustin jumped in and did it for me, and the gist of his dead-on answer was this:

I've built a career with that name. It's under this name that I've spent all my adult life. I have email addresses and a URL and a graduate diploma with this name. I am this person: Megan Romo.

Sure, I can have all that changed, but my name is mine, and it doesn't offend me. And, as Dustin said, most people who can't understand why I am so attached to my name as it is don't have careers and searchable accomplishments where they are known by a specific name. If you're not sure what I mean, google "Megan Romo."

Then there's this: words and letters arranged into sounds and cadences matter to me. I like the flow of "Megan Romo." I never liked my maiden name, Peterson. None of the girls in my family do. Name-wise, we all believe we married into upgrades (or in Mally's case a lateral shift). Even my mom sees Peterson for the bummer that it is. She liked her maiden name Samson better and is happy it lives on in my sister, Cat's, son, Samson.

All this doesn't mean that we don't appreciate the Peterson name. We love and honor the people on that side of the family. Just because I think Peterson sucks doesn't mean I don't appreciate and love my dad, the man from whom that name came. It's not the name that made the man. And along that same thread, my keeping Romo isn't some tribute to the loser off whom I got it. This name is mine. I adopted it. I'm keeping it.

And that is something special that Carrie and I get to share now. When she married my ex, Mark Romo, she changed her name from that of her children—Elliker—to Romo. So now we have even more in common! For a few months, we shared a man (only one of us was in the know about that though, and it sure wasn't me), and now we share a last and middle name.

I'm Megan Lynn Romo.

She's Carrie Lynn Romo.

It's like we're sister wives! 

I'm the bright wife with a job, a graduate degree (though admittedly in liberal arts and therefore pretty worthless), a vocabulary with polysyllabic words, wit, a birthday in the 80s, decency, a right to self-respect, and an honorable man as mine. And she's the dim wife with the downgraded significant other, fake boobs, a penchant for country music, half her children half the time, no hobbies and thus nothing to do during the day, a bad back, no ass, and a truly laughable, trying-too-hard-and-failing-miserably, stylish-perhaps-eight-years-ago, and-firmly-rooted-in-Reno taste in clothes.

18 comments:

onlythejodi said...

Okay, but you need to cut country music some slack, unless you're talking Billy Ray Cyrus and the like. But Loretta Lynn, Hank, Johnny, Waylon, Willy, Dwight, Tammy, the list of great country music stars is endless.

Johny Smitheson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johny Smitheson said...

I really wonder what your elderly boyfriend thinks about what you write about his kids mother. Whether she is right or wrong in life, it is still their mother. The pain you've blogged about is nothing compared to when the day comes the children read this blog is unbelievable. I wonder, after reading your blog whatpeople you and your boyfriend really are

Megan said...

Hey, fake name cowardly hiding whoever you actually are, you don't have to wonder what kind of people we are; it's all here. I don't hold back much. Read. Or ask anyone who knows us. They can tell you. Anyone but Thing One and Thing Two. They're obviously untrustworthy.

Annie said...

Johny, if Carrie didn't want to be judged, she should have honored her commitment to her family and refrained from doing the things that warrant such judgement--and trust me, the judgement is warranted. If everything on this blog is truthful, she just has to live with the actions she chose and she has to live with those actions being public.

Carrie not only broke her own home, but she broke Megan's home as well. This nightmare was forced on Megan and she has every right (constitutionally, morally, and ethically) to express her feelings and talk about her experiences. Reading her blog has been very therapeutic for me and for others as well who have experienced the same marital demise.

I agree that children should be protected as much as possible, but having just gone through this myself with a 7 and 9 year old, I can tell you that shielding them was a futile effort. Eliminating any unsavory statements about their mother from one blog won't do anything to change the pain that will stay with them for years to come. That change has to come from Carrie, the one who placed the pain in her children's hearts in the first place. She needs to recognize how she has likely damaged her children's trust, views about relationships and marriage, and even their expectations of unconditional love from her. The only thing that will truly minimize the scars is for her to take steps to minimize that damage. She needs to forget about herself and focus on the children's needs. She needs to work together with Jim for the sake of the children, not against him as evidenced in her legal actions, and emails.

However, for all I know, the kids could be doing wonderfully. It sounds like they have lots of support on Jim and Megan's end, which should be applauded.

In any case, if you truly cared about the children who may be struggling with their family's demise, you would have more success in helping them by correcting Carrie and not by commenting maliciously on this blog.

But most people would already understand that, so it leads me to wonder what kind of person you are.

Chloe Gilbertson said...

Very sad that you blew right past the point of what that guy was trying to tell you. It's not about you, your boyfriend or your exes, it's about those innocent kids. I have come to realize after reading your various blogs, all so self involved, that you do not have the ability to love or sympathize with anyone else but yourself. Your pathetic excuse of a boyfriend deserves someone like you because obviously he is just as selfish and self centered as you. What father alive states that he put kids first and then not only allows you to write all those nasty vile things you write about their mother, but takes part in it. I am sure neither one of you nitwits will ever figure out what we are trying to tell you. We all as a group pray for those kids because they hell you and your boyfriend are putting them through is horrific. Bottom-line, Carrie is a drop dead gorgeous women, who you could never ever compare to in the looks department, so get over it. The only thing we agree on as a group is that you and Jim have validated their relationship and you have shown us exactly why they left you guys. Too bad the kids are stuck with you both ! Shame on you both. Don't bother responding because I am done....you put a whole new meaning to the word cyber-bullying and that's why we stay anonymous because we don't want to fall next to your evil words.

Annie said...

Chloe, I know you said that you are done, but I can't help but point out the irony that you blew right past your own point. You say in one sentence that it is all about the innocent kids, but go on with 10 sentences calling Megan and Jim names and touting Carrie's looks. And it doesn't stop there--after your own name-calling, you claim Megan's are the words that are evil.

I really don't understand the defensiveness, and so I can only guess that it is a distraction from the true guilt your group must be feeling.

The truth is this: this URL is just an online blog, but the 24-7 reality for the children is that their mom cheated on the family and left to be with someone else's husband. Their newly changed living situation serves as a constant reminder of that. Blaming a blog for anyone's unhappiness is completely misguided.

KateKnowles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johny Smitheson said...

Not surprised my point was lost on such a narcissistic person. I won't be hard on you though Megan, since it is a sickness you have. I can't pass judgement since you don't possess the ability to love or care about anyone other than yourself. You probably don't even understand what I mean !!! However, I do get why your boyfriend Jim is so bitter. That man was used to feasting on the finest cut of meat out there, fillet mignon, and now he is settling for a small, shriveled up piece of smelly beef jerky.... Man to man, I feel your pain. Hope you own a lot of brown paper bags ! 

Kate said...

I understand perfectly about keeping your name, I don't plan to change mine when I marry, only partly because I dislike my fianc├ęs surname. My future in-laws keep telling me that having a different name to my daughter is only going to cause problems in the future, but she has my surname as a second middle name so I think she'll be just fine. Megan's always are, no matter what their last name.
Thank you for your writing.

Audrey said...

Say what you will about Carrie's life choices, the bottom line is that she surrounds herself with true friends. People who will stick up for her choices. People who will compare her to a piece of meat. As a compliment. So excellent. Can't stop laughing.

Megan said...

Audrey, you worded that great. It was definitely the kind of support that's nothing short of awesome.

Megan said...

The deleted comment from "KateKnowles" read:

Annie - I agree. Because Jesus said that we shouldn't judge people, unless they act badly... oh wait. That's not what he said at all.

Megan - I think you are a really talented writer and I love reading your blogs and I LOVE your graphic art. I was funneled to this blog because I love your art so much. But doing a point by point comparison between yourself and your boyfriend's ex (who he obviously loved and worshiped for however many years) is frankly an embarrassing undertaking for an educated professional woman. Especially on a public blog. IMO - rethink the harassment-veiled-as-wit posts or rethink making this space public.

I for one, would love to continue reading your clever observations and embellishments on life (and even about your personal struggles), but I would also like to do so without (as "Chloe" put it) participating in cyber bulling. These are not the musings of someone who is healing from adultery in a healthy way. May you find PEACE.

Megan said...

And Rabid asked that I repost the other deleted comment (they come to my email, people). It was uninteresting though. "Johny's" first comment said:

Jealous, much?

Megan said...

Kate (the real one), thank you. I will be fine. And I appreciate your confidence in that. Thank you for reading. I like strong ladies. I'm certain that's the kind of daughter you'll raise, no matter her name.

Kelsey Carreon said...

Megan I know your blog is healing because I did the same thing just not in blog form when I got divorced. I did it in essay form in my English claMegan I know your blog is healing because I did the same thing just not in blog form when I got divorced. I did it in essay form in my English class in college and I am sure if there were blogs then it would have been in blog form. It is healthy for more people than just you. If some people can handle the truthfulness of your words than they don't need to come to your pages to read them. As fo Marc and Karry living in a relationship fueled by hatred of others is a sure fire way to have one of those people to start feasting on a new piece of "filet mingon" and leaving secret trac phones for them ss in college and I am sure if there were blogs then it would have been in blog form. It is healthy for more people than just you. If some people can handle the truthfulness of your words than they don't need to come to your pages to read them. As fo Marc and Karry living in a relationship fueled by hatred of others is a sure fire way to have one of those people to start feasting on a new piece of "filet mingon" and leaving secret trac phones for them

Kelsey Carreon said...

not sure why some of my comments double posted.. maybe google+ felt that some things needed to be said twice to make a double point.

Annie said...

KateKnowles, you are right in your response to me about not judging others from a Christian perspective. I admit I have judged and I need to do better. Thank you for reminding me. I will, however, stand by the main sentiment of my statement: that if Carrie didn't want to be embarrassed by others finding out about her actions, she shouldn't have committed them. Life is a culmination of choices and, fortunately or unfortunately, we all must live with the ones we have made.

By the same judgment token, I don't think anyone should judge Megan for what the content of her blog reveals about her "healing process" or even what that healing process should entail. We all have different experiences of grief and we all have different needs for each stage of it. I have met a lot of women who have lost a marriage to an affair and each one was unique in how she found success in healing. One therapist might tell you to strive for peace in all things, another might tell you to have fun with your anger in order to process it. It all depends on your own situation, tendencies, and personality. We can't say that a certain way is superior just because it worked for us or because that's what we would do.

In the end, I have no doubt Megan will find peace. It's kind of hard when you're being called into court by people who have hurt you so much in the past, but those hard things make us strong. Add some insanely intelligent wit to that mix, and I'd say you have a recipe for a favorable outcome in life.