Groundhog Day

Surely you’ve seen the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, right?  Don’t say no.  You’ll break my heart.  But in the interest of this post, Iwill fill you in a bit.  The story is about a weatherman, played by the fabulous Bill Murray, who finds himself living the same day over and over again.

Well, I’ve identified a similar phenomenon in my life.  Every October the same thing happens to me year after year, yet I still find myself surprised, like…”Whoa!  How’d that happen?! 

Here’s the thing.  I love Halloween.  Love it!   This “holiday” was designed with me in mind.  I love candy more than any adult really should.  Caramel apples and candy corn are two treats that make me do backflips in the grocery store. Throw in some goofy costumes and several cocktails, and BLAM-O!  You’ve got a perfect evening.  I realize this may not be a popular sentiment.  For some people, the mere thought of having to dress up in a stupid costume and mingle with a bunch of strangers at a party is close to the worst thing on the planet.  But for me….it’s a match made in Heaven.  

But you see, I’m not very good at Halloween.  In fact, I suck at it.  Just like my inability to shop, I lack the ability to actually choose a Halloween costume, and thus, I’m left costume-less on October 31.  It’s not like I have 365 days to think about it and plan accordingly.  Oh wait…right.  Crap.  Believe it or not, I actually do think about it.  It’s the follow-through that gets me.

Seriously, for the past 7 years I’ve had a folder in my Yahoo! inbox called “Halloween Costume Ideas” to which I periodically send myself Halloween costume ideas when they strike me.  See – here it is! 

The “Halloween Costume Ideas” folder in my email box.

And then, suddenly, the last week of October just appears out of no where, leaving me with no time to buy or make a proper (read: funny, ironic, brilliant) costume.  Damn you, October!  Every year I end up spending hours picking through the crappy leftover wigs and shreds of costumes at the make-shift Halloween store at the strip mall, desperate to find something worthy of my discerning tastes (read: funny, ironic, brilliant).  

But not this year.  By George, I’ve done it!!   I have the perfect couples costume for me and my unassuming husband who frankly has no say in the matter.  It’s perfect (read: funny, ironic, brilliant).  Sure, I still have to purchase said costume, but I should be able to get it in the next 11 days.  I hope. 

So, Halloween, this year I’m not going to suck at you.  Nope!  This October, I’m feeling cool and confident.  And even if my brilliant costume some how fails, I will at least have the 4 bags of Halloween candy* I bought for the non-existant trick-or-treators in my neighborhood to console me. 

* Kit Kats, Milky Ways, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Butterfingers

To Change or Not to Change

That is the question my friends. 

You see, tomorrow I shall change my beloved yet funny last name to that of my husband’s.  This is big.  So big in fact, that when my BFF Amy just called and I told her my plans, she asked “So..what are you going to do – will you hyphenate?”  I replied…”Nope.  No hyphenating.  I’ve decided I’m going to just be Lindsay Wxxxxx. (pause) I think.”  Aww crap.  I said “I think”. 

So it seems that I might be experiencing a little separation anxiety.  This is new for me.  The last time I felt separation anxiety was when my parents left me in my college dorm room freshman year and the ache in my throat was so immense I can still feel it now.   

I was never a blankie kinda kid.  Wasn’t desperately attached to a doll or stuffed animal.  I’ve never even had that favorite pair of jeans.  But my name…it’s been with me for exactly 32 years and 278 days.  Even though I used to fantasize about changing “Millsap” to “Mills” in case I ever got famous (Mills is cooler), now that I’m faced with saying farewell to this funny yet familiar and wonderful name… well, it’s got me in a bit of a panic really.  Suddenly, I think it’s the best name ever!  How could I part with the best name ever, I beg you?!

Me signing our marriage license on our wedding day.

Signing our marriage licence with my new name for the first time. Photo by Erin Hearts Court.

I realize no one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to change my name.  This is my decision.  My husband stands by whatever I decide to do.  And you may recall, I’ve already harped on the subject before about changing my name and how easy I got off on this one.  His name is a lovely one!  His name is practically mine with just a few letter changes.  It’s so simple!

The reason I’m doing it is simple.  On the surface, I may not seem that traditional.  But there are some traditions I find so endearing and time-honored, that I respect the sheer power in their meaning.  I am also a hopeless romantic, and I am so very proud to be married to my husband that to share a name with him truly is an honor and a source of great pride for me. 

And so tomorrow I shall go to the Social Security office, stand in line for hours with my fellow name changers, and get my new blue card.  And at the DMV, a new license with, hopefully, a better photo this time.  I cannot promise that I will learn to sign my new name well, or look up when someone calls my name from across the room.  But I will know that I have made this commitment in the name of love and pride and tradition and romance.  And that makes this separation a little bit easier to handle.

But Lenzo, please don’t stop calling me Millsap.  Or Millslap. Or Millslut.  I would miss that too much.