A rose by any other name…
Tracy B. Cieniewicz
After 26 years, it's hard to just automatically stop writing and saying "Brady" when the question of my last name happens to arise.
Especially when my new last name is twice as long, ten times harder to spell, and about a million times harder to pronounce.
"I'll spell it out phonetically for you," my new husband John told the minister at the wedding rehearsal.
Caleb, the minister, was much obliged. He said he was more nervous about pronouncing it correctly when he presented us as "Mr. and Mrs. John Cieniewicz" than we were about getting married.
My three-year-old niece Carly can say it better than anyone else in the family can.
"Cieniewicz, Cieniewicz, Cieniewicz," she says very nonchalantly as she practices in her car seat during long trips.
Everyone here at the office has been practicing, too. They've gotten almost as good as Carly.
I have received many congratulations from the nice people in the Hartselle and Madison communities about our wedding.
But the response to my married name has been the same across the board.
"I think I'll still just call you Tracy Brady."
I visited my family practitioner, Dr. Huff, the day before the wedding to get some motion sickness patches for the honeymoon cruise.
When I told him what my last name would be for future visits he replied, "Ah, shucks. It'll take me until I retire to learn to spell that."
Our friends would sympathize with Dr. Huff.
They've been trying to learn how to spell it for about 9 years now.
Of course, relaying the dilemma to John is simply preaching to the choir.
Our friends and his co-workers usually refer to him as John C.
He is automatically programmed to spell his last name to people before pronouncing it.
Telemarketers are easily detected when they completely fumble the attempt at pronouncing it correctly.
But John and his family are very proud of their very distinct surname and its Polish origin.
John is especially proud of adding another Cieniewicz to the family.
That's why I'm dropping my middle name of Lynn and accepting the honor of being known as Mrs. Tracy Brady Cieniewicz.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."
Shakespeare was a wise man.
And, just in case your wondering, it's pronounced Sin-uh-witts, but you can just call me Tracy C.