Sunday, September 19, 2010

Change of Name?

Heffernan is a bit of a mouthful. It is not my name! I was born Janette Mary Miller and I acquired the name Heffernan when I married.

It is not an easy name. When I first encountered it on Queens Ice Rink in Bayswater London when my GP husband literally fell at my feet I was not impressed. I thought Heffernan was German!

In fact Heffernan is Irish and means either 'Master of the Horse' or 'sporn of hell' ! For eight years I did not have to bother and indeed for the first seven years it did not matter but after the intervention of Noel Tovey, our cupid and a trip to Athens Miles eventually asked me to marry him.

In 1972 one took one's husband's name. If I had married today I wouldn't. I had my own career and name and today there would have been no question about it I should have retained Miller.

For 38 years I have laboured under this name. It has been a nightmare. First I have to spell out Janette, J for Juliette, A for Horses, N for lope etc and then after that H for Hero, E Echo etc.

It would not be so bad if I was still part of Miles's family but I am not. They all live in UK  or USA. Added to that my daughter opted very sensibly for her husband's name as being a school teacher it makes life easier.

Heffernan is a very Irish name from Tipperary in Eire. That means  Irish RC. Apart from my Irish Grandmother from Dublin, named Mackenzie, there's a good Irish name, I have nothing in my blood that says Ireland and yet because of this appendage I have to defend all the Troubles of this cantankerous country. I was nearly assaulted at a dinner party by a true Irishman from the Northern end who didn't like Catholic Southerners. He nearly assaulted me after a few drinks. It was most unpleasant.

I should have done it immediately my husband died and if things had been different I should have left it but for the last two years I have been able to sing again professionally and on YouTube and iTunes I have used my real name and I like it.

I am no longer a wife who belongs to her husband but me Janette Miller, I feel like Janette Miller and I am toying with trying it out again to see if it works.

In NZ and UK it is easy to revert to one's maiden name. It is not as if one had to change a birth certificate. I do not even have to have a Deed Poll . It is the email that is a frost as is not available but a '.me' so why not?

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