When I was a child, my first camp counselor was named Crystal. This amused me, because whenever I put myself in my Barbie games, I alway named either myself or the "main character" Crystal. I also always had a imaginary friend (the healthy kind... not the creepy kind) named Crystal. I knew the second I got to camp that my birth certificate was wrong. The first name I ever wanted to have was Crystal.
When I was 16, I got my official driver's license. I decided right then and there that my parents were idiots, and my middle name shouldn't be spelt R-E-N-E (which is the boring Latin spelling) but instead R-E-N-E-E (naturally with the little "thingy" above one of the "e"s, although to be fair I could never remember which one... but the French were cooler than my parents, so it didn't matter). So, when I filled out the official application, I just added an extra "e".
When I was 21, I got married. My 16 year old stunt bit me in the butt. I had since realized my parents were in fact not idiots, Latin was way cooler than French, and I liked the simplicity of my middle name without the extra "e". The ladies that drew up my marriage certificate used the incorrect version of my middle name, that I am now stuck with, because of teenage rebellion.
When I was 21, and was married, I legally changed my last name away from a Slovic, unique, semi-famous one into a white-bread, boring, lazy one. I got my new driver's license (wrong middle name, naturally), my new Social Security Card (correct middle name, go figure), and updated my Facebook name. None of this bothered me, until my dad saw my new driver's license and almost cried. It was then that I realized, the name given to me at birth meant something, and that I was going to miss it terribly.
I love walking around with my husband's last name. It makes us feel a part of a whole. However, when the occasion calls for it, I still call myself by my first last name. I still smile every time I meet someone named Crystal. And, I put the correct spelling of my middle name on the top of this blog, to always remind me what was given me from the start is the best.