When I got married almost 12 years ago I decided to keep my maiden name for a number of reasons.
- I had been Lisa Kramer for a really long time and felt no need to change it.
- I was in the middle of my doctoral program and felt like I was beginning to establish a name for myself (HA! That makes me laugh now).
- I thought Lisa Lee sounded a little bit too much like a perky cheerleader name (no offense to any Lisa Lee’s out there) and I already battle the onus of being short and smiley. I didn’t need to add a cheerleader name to that.
However recent adventures in Googling my name have led me to rethink my name.
Don’t scoff, you know you do it to. :D
The problem is there are hundreds if not thousands of Lisa Kramer’s in the world. Adding my middle initial (A.) doesn’t help.
When you search for my name here are some of the results:
- an Associate Professor of Finance at the Rotman School of Management (she appears a lot)
- a Life Coach, Mentor, and Author at Living With Intention
- perhaps my favorite, the character played by Debra Messing in Along Came Polly
- a photographer
- another of my favorites, articles by a sociologist who studies prostitution and graduated with her doctorate from the same university as me, at the same graduation ceremony
- a contributing editor to the League of Ordinary Gentleman
- an author of a historical novel
- a campus recruiter
- etc. etc. etc.
The only reason I show up anywhere near the top of the list is because I’ve +1’ed myself (not out of ego I swear–just to make it easier to find the real me in the list).
If you add modifiers like, theater or director and maybe blogs or writer, you get closer to me, but someone has to know to do that.
Now, I suppose I should be happy that all of these women are intelligent, successful and talented. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain. But how do you establish a good reputation and build a platform on your name when you share it with the rest of the universe?
Seriously, I was already contacted once by someone who wanted to publish one of the papers I had written from my doctoral research (YAY!) except that it wasn’t me, it was the other Lisa Kramer who went to school at the same time. (BOO!) Did I mention she was also good friends with one of my good friends from undergrad?
So I need a new name.
Perhaps I should adopt the fake relationship I created a few weeks back and become Lisa Bronte.
Or I could be Lisa Shakespeare. Or Lisa Kreuss (rhymes with Seuss).
I could use my name backwards, a name I always thought would be good for a fashion designer, and become Asil Naa Remark.
I could take on the Lee as we did for our daughter and truly become Lisa KramerLee (which everyone from Sarah’s school calls me anyway).
Or maybe I should just drop the Kramer all together and go by Dr. Lisa.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
I guess it is all moot if I don’t get writing. I don’t want a pseudonym, but my name seems to mean everything and nothing all at once.
Perhaps I should just give in and take on Nathan’s last name. I’ve said this elsewhere on the blog, I always thought that name would be good for one specific career:
What should my name be? Contribute suggestions below and win a prize when I become rich and famous under that name . . . or simply the gift of a giggle today.
Update, 1 minute later:
I just found this on a friend’s Facebook status and couldn’t resist adding it here:
Everyone has 8 names –>
Your Real Name: Lisa
Your “Gangsta” Name (first 3 letters of your real name plus -izzle): Lisizzle
Your Detective Name (favorite color & favorite animal): Purple Dolphin
Your Soap Opera Name (middle name & street you live on) Ann Oxford
Your Star Wars Name (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your middle name): Kraan
Your Superhero Name (2nd favorite color & favorite drink): Red Chai
Your Witness Protection Name (your mother’s and father’s middle names): Ruth Lee
Your Goth Name (black & one of your pets names) Black Lizzy