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I am of the generation (old but not THAT old) who looks with suspicion on computers. I have been an applications software programmer (yes, that dates me already), but still was always absurdly convinced that my computer would explode if I made any kind of mistake. After all, the messages darkly implied this: FATAL ERROR. BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. QUIT UNEXPECTEDLY. Surely those message really meant FATAL ERROR for me. BLUE SCREEN OF my DEATH. QUIT my life UNEXPECTEDLY.

Nevertheless, I love the interwebs and all its tubes. I mostly lurk, feeling insufficiently glib to post my opinion, but occasionally cannot resist the opening to opine. This is my first diary, and is a diary in the original sense: a personal diary. My title is true: If I Remember Correctly. I cannot be sure that what I say is true; I can be sure that what I say is what I remember. So often, feeling trumps facts. If it is my diary, then feelings are allowed to trump facts; I just hope my younger sister or any involved friend remembers the occasion(s) the same way I do. Regardless, these personal diaries will be how I remember, correctly or not. I hope IIRC Part 01 is indeed the first, not the only.

So ...

Here now is my first diary entry. No links, no photos or videos, and absolutely no confirmation. (My younger sister is also a KOSSACK - if she discovers this diary, let her fix my memory. Or not.)

I am the middle of three daughters; I had one brother. I have three daughters of my own, no sons. Each of my daughters at some point has asked me to make a record of my life, and the stories my parents, in-laws, and other relatives have told me, so that the family history is retained. I have tried to do this sporadically in a notebook, but would rather type than write, so I found little satisfaction in the notebook approach. Perhaps the personal/apolitical story line will be more gratifying with my keyboard, and I will be able to write all the stories I experienced or was told, in whatever order they come to mind, and my children will be gratified.

My parents gave me a first name and my father's last name and that's all. My father's last name was one syllable, so my parents wanted to give me a multi-syllabic first name - three syllables to be precise. It would make my name more interesting. They followed that protocol for both of my sisters as well. My brother, on the other hand (OTOH) received a one-syllable first name. How Come? The explanation is simple.

My two sisters and I were not to receive a middle name. After all, when we were married we would only lose it, so why bother? My brother's name OTOH, would be his for life.

This is what my mother chose to do. From birth her parents gave her a first, a middle, and a last name; when she married my father she dropped the middle name and adopted her natal last name as her middle name, taking my father's last name as her last name. All their daughters would do the same, obviously, so they didn't want to make any effort to compose an interesting or melodic first/middle/last name combination. It would only be lost. IIRC, this is how they oh-so-casually described their decision process; I am not looking back in resentment and making this up.

The problem with this simple approach is that it renders all of the daughters effectively invisible.

My older sister followed their predicted path. Only thing is, she pursued a Ph.D. So she was TITLE, FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, MARRIED NAME. Educated and accomplished, due to her own diligence, but forever tied to her husband's name, not the parents who formed her. Her husband, by the way, is a perfect dear, although they divorced after 25 years; he did not mold her into the Ph.D. she became.

My younger sister followed a different path. Full of hostility towards her father who did not care for her (sadly, not an adolescent misunderstanding but an actual true state of affairs), she invented her own middle name, and when she married, which she did three times, she took her husbands' names as her last name, and her chosen middle name as her middle name, and completely and permanently dropped her last (her father's) name.

I, the middle daughter, trod the middle path. I kept my own last name (my father's name), and took my husbands' names (I have been married twice) as my middle name. My children all have my husband's last name, but, amazingly, were never confused as to who their parents were or what their relationships to each other were. When I was first married to my first husband in the early 1970s, a number of officious people took it upon themselves to tell me it would be confusing, even illegal, but it was never either of those things.

I wish I had known sooner about the Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden approach, that they gave their children her mother's name as their last name. I would definitely have considered that solution. It would at the least have been an enlightening conversation to have with my second husband/my children's father. But in any event, I like having my own name. It forces people to pay attention if they care;  if they don't pay attention, then I automatically know whether they are friends or just permanent acquaintances.

So ends my first diary. No links, no uploaded pictures or videos, no confirmation (unless my sister reads it and corrects me). Very personal (what can be more personal than one's own name?), but also in its way very political, the personal being policatl for a baby boomer. I look forward to writing IIRC Part 02, assuming IIRC Part 01 is not too overwhelming to my lurking self.

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