By Laura LaVoie
“Is that your maiden name?” the stranger asked me as if it were the most normal question in the world. I looked up at him from my seat not entirely certain how to respond. He thumbed through my book and didn’t even make eye contact with me.
“No, it’s my name,” I replied with a smile.
“I know that. But is it your married name or your maiden name?”
My smile faded. I wasn’t certain how my name was relevant, except that it was my name on the cover. of my book.
Finally, I said, “It’s been my name my whole life. The book is $20 if you’re interested. I can sign it for you.”
I don’t actually remember if this strange man bought one.
I’m not a particular fan of the designation “Maiden Name.” It comes from a long history of treating women and children as property.