On Middle Names (What's Yours?)

To: Crecente From: Ashcraft RE: Rock Band Practice

So the packing has started! Mrs. Bashcraft spent half the day packing her suitcase. (I still need to pack mine.) At least one fourth of her suitcase is instant ramen and udon. I told her she could get that in America, and she said it's just easier if she brings her own. She does like the food in Texas, but starts craving noodles after a few days. They're not so healthy, but I guess they remind her of Japan.

We got new suitcases. All of us. Matching, too. Mrs. Bashcraft decided she'd put our initials on it. Since I am an America, I have a middle name, which is "Eugene". (Yeah, I know.) Thanks to dual citizenship, Mini-Bash is also an American and has a middle name: "Atom". (Named after Astro Boy!) That leaves Mrs. Bashcraft, who is neither an American nor has a middle name. (By law, Japanese people can only have first and last names. From what I understand, this has to do with how the government groups families and the readability of names.) So all the suitcases have three initials on them but hers. All my life I've thought most people pretty much hate (and hide) their middle names, but here she was actually wishing she had her own. When I saw her suitcase after dinner, I noticed a big "C" between her first and last initial. She had decided to give herself a middle name — "Catherine".

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    My son has two middle names, and I wish the first one was my first name - Phoenix William. Wicked.

    Due to my father's background, I was names in a particular way, even though I actually went by a different surname. When I later changed my name officially to what I'm actually known as, I added a middle name.

    There's something very satisfying about being able to tell people that you chose your own middle name. (Well, presumably not if you picked something you stupid, say perhaps through some crazy mishap involving a deed poll and copious amounts of alcohol.)

    And now for the most boring, common, and bland middle name: James

    Oh can't you just hear it rining through the great british halls.

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