by any other name
i handed my identity over to a petite government agent with a head full of tightly wound curls. i scribbled my new signature on a sheet of paper and was promised a social security card with my new name in two weeks.
back in my beat up honda civic, i sat in the blistering heat and cried.
i signed away the name i shared with my hero… my father.
the name i shared with my mother. the name i shared with my sister.
i wiped my tears away and prayed i did my maiden name proud.
i hope i was sufficiently weird.
i hope i turned out as loud, bold, and opinionated as my parents raised me to be.
in the years i was blessed to bear the mastrangelo name, i did my best to cause a ruckus. i am proud to be the first mastrangelo to graduate college. proud i visited italy with an italian last name. proud i learned to cook the family sauce. proud of all i did and didn’t do.
now, i blaze forward with a new name. my husband’s name. a name saturated with incredible love and rich armenian roots. a name almost as difficult to spell and pronounce as the one i leave behind.
today as i swallowed salty tears, my mother reminded me this new name does not signify a new danielle. i will live life just as loudly as before. i will continue to be the sparkly, slightly irreverent animal i have been my whole life.
on the day of my wedding my father wrote, “it’s hard to imagine that someone who has done so much in such a short amount of time is really just getting started.”
like always, my father is right.
daddy and ma – thank you for showing me what this beast called marriage is really all about. thank you for making my childhood as a mastrangelo intensely colorful, noisy, unorthodox, and magical. thank you for reminding me this is just the beginning.