Marriage & The Monogram

travel blogger Amanda biking around Mackinac Island, Michigan.

About an hour before Eric dropped down on one knee and proposed, I had a timely encounter with the will call worker at the Whitehaven Beach boat ferry from Hamilton Island.

Advising that my tickets were listed under the name “Carnagie,” he cheerily leafed through the folders repeating the name.

“Carnagie! That’s a really great last name.” I agreed, expressing my love for it as he shared a few more compliments and the expected steel tycoon reference.

Now that my wedding is next month (what?!), the realities of the future of my last name became all too real:

I just purchased my first monogramed gift for myself. Ah, marriage & the monogram.

The thing about monograms is that they’re different from initials (obviously). So this whole time I’ve been thinking that I’m pretty safe with my new initials. That is, until I did my monogram and realized that the middle and last initial had to flip places.

Dang it.

So now instead of ACB… I’m ABC.

Cue Michael Jackson singing in your head ALL DAY.

Cue teacher and literacy jokes.

How did I not even realize this until last week? If you’re like me, you may have gone through an identity crisis sporadically throughout your engagement. So much of my life is tied to my last name — my heritage, my academic achievements, my professional advancements, my network of connections, my family, my email address, my identity…. EVERYTHING.

Tradition is a value; I have no qualms taking on a new surname, it’s letting one go that makes my heart hurt.

So I’m still keeping my last name. But you can’t really monogram the initials ACCB when you’re given an option for 3 letters. Unless you square the C. So ABC2? I’ve been done with math since high school and I really don’t want my monogram to look like an unsolvable equation.

Then I think about other ways my monogram could be worse.

It could be ZIT or POO, or something even more horrendous, like NFL. Actually, I think the most epic monogram would probably be FML. Imagine innocently meandering through a grocery store and encountering a lady all dolled up in Lily Pulitzer with FML on her purse, FML on her coat, FML on her water bottle…

Or LOL. If I found a bride with an LOL monogrammed, I’d probably chide, “What’s so funny? Marriage is NO JOKE.”

My friend recently married. Her unmarried monogram was KTK. Then she married a man whose last name was a K. You can put together the puzzle pieces.

I guess ABC isn’t that bad.

When our boat docked back at Hamilton Island, I wanted to find the ticket worker and tell him the news. Partially because when something like that happens you have this shout-it-from-the-rooftops yearning to tell someone. Anyone. And because I needed to mourn with someone the fist time in my life when I was directly faced with the consideration of the future of my surname.

He wasn’t there.

So here I am, donning my new monogram of ABC. Easy as 1, 2, 3 when you’re marrying someone like Eric.

travel blogger Amanda biking around Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Biking around Mackinac Island. Photo by WiderLens Visual.

[P.S. It’s funny (NOT) how weddings commandeer all your time and money (especially when you have 9 in one summer, not including your own). My traveling has been pretty sparse lately, but I’ll be donning quite a few adventures in September & October. Despite that, however, LOVE is an adventure — and so is wedding planning.]

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