I guess I'll leave the answer to that question to Shakespeare.
But what I will tell you is what is in a name change.
Because in my case, the answer to that question is . . . a court order.
This court order, in fact.
Because while most ladies can simply head to the local Social Security Administration office with their marriage licenses in hand to change their names--something I actually tried to do a few weeks ago, only to be turned away after waiting in line for almost three hours--if you happen to go by your middle name (like me) and wish to drop your first name rather than your middle name (like I wanted to), then changing your name is a bit more complicated.
I was too.
Apparently, although you can change your middle name to your maiden name and your last name to your husband's last name with your marriage license, if you want to do those same things plus change your first name to your middle name (because that's the name you actually go by, like me), then you're simply out of luck; your marriage license just won't cut it. Why? Because changing your first name is a big deal due to some law passed after 9/11, or so I was told.
Now, to change your first name, you've got to get a court order.
A family court order.
Which, I would imagine, could be a daunting task for most folks. (In fact, I may or may not have shed a tear or two out of frustration during this whole process.)
Fortunately, however, Tod and I are well acquainted with the South Carolina legal system, and my tears were for naught because getting our order only set us back a couple weeks and $150.
I'm happy to say that this afternoon, armed with the order, I headed out once again to the Social Security office, and after only a forty-five minute wait this time, I walked out with my new name.
Next stop, the Department of Motor Vehicles. Wish me luck.