As a child it was always very hard explaining to people why I had two hyphenated first names and no middle name. I always felt a bit left out, not having an “Anne”, “Elizabeth”, or “Marie” to fill in, and I always felt cheated when the form would not accept my hyphen, or worse yet, I had to use the second of the first names as my middle name. This eased somewhat when got married and could slide my maiden name into the middle name slot on forms. When I had my own children, they all got middle names, although Thing 3, whose first name is also hyphenated, nearly did not get one; Mood Ring Momma and my mother convinced me it was necessary. Since the latter two children were born in Mexico, my maiden name became the second part of their last name, complicating matters. My maiden name which is Thing 1’s middle name appeared on her Mexican visa twice: once as her American middle name and then again as her second last name.

This week I have had to re-order new birth certificates for everyone in my family in order to obtain our visas. All documents have to be “fresh”. Spain, apparently, does not accept illegal aliens and wants to make sure that you are not pulling a fast one on them. Only new documents will do. In Massachusetts, this is no problem; they have outsourced the entire procedure. In Florida, it’s a tad easier – just send in a fax with your identification. In Podunk, California, where I was born, raised, and married, I have to have a notarized affidavit which requires a trip to the consulate to obtain the seal. And then there is the horror of retrieving birth certificates from Mexico, which just might tank the whole deal. For both Things 2 & 3 we ordered thirty copies of their birth certificates when they were born so as to avoid this problem. It never occurred to us we would ever need old certificates with new dates on them.

Thankfully, there is a handy service called VitalChek which obtains records for you, with the proper documentation, for a low, low fee. VitalChek does have a few glitches, however. They can’t obtain records in Mexico if were not American military personnel, for starters. Middle nameless, I have had to fill in a slot with the initials “NMN” – No Middle Name – or the website will not process my form. Do you think the record searchers will be able to find me? The NMN won’t match up with the blank on my birth certificate.

Back to the Question of the Day: what is your middle name and do you like it?



Filed under Life, Misunderstandings, Moving

11 responses to “NMN

  1. gamamae

    Querida … I totally relate to NMN..My mamãe had 7 names before marrying my dad and then had it shortened to 4, not including my fathers last name!! When I was born, he had been in speaking portuguese for 5 years, and had a hard time enough time with Mariana, and so decreed that I would not have 6 other names attached. I was crushed during the monogram phase as I did not have 3 letters to put on a monogram! My mom suggested I pick one of her family names just for the letter, for a while I went with Mariana Brasil Sanford and then also went with Mariana Pimentel Sanford…never officially changed anything. I did go official after marriage, Sanford became my middle/last name- yes I took a hint from Hillary! SO- that was a long winded answer/comment. And technically, I still do not have a full middle name!

  2. I love my middle name and gave it to my daughter Margaret to prove it. I think she did not like her middle name Frances>

  3. 425Heidi

    My middle name was Jean (after my Mom’s best friend), and I hated it. There was a crazy girl in elementary school named Jean, and I was afraid people would find out my middle name and tease me like they teased her. My family would also call me Heidi Jean Teenage Queen just to bug me. Now my middle name is my maiden name. Jean is history.

  4. Mood Ring Momma

    425 – You are so not a Jean!!!

    I like my middle name well enough, but was kind of embarrased when I was a kid b/c I knew it was also a boy name (albiet spelled differently). I wanted to like my friends with at least one name that ended in “y” or “ie.”

  5. Raftbuddy

    NMN, I am betting that will be a challenge with the online forms. They will think your middle name is “NMN”, a new twist to your saga. Mine is Kristine. I like it. Now my maiden name fills in as my middle name but I still try to squeeze my original middle name in sometimes to have 4 names. Girls get ripped off in the name game, because middle names become somewhat useless(or disappear) when you get married, which is a shame, so at least you avoided THAT!

  6. SmartAlecAngela

    Wow talk about complicado!! I’m sure it will all work out though. My middle name is Christine. I like it even though I never use it. I gave my girls indian middle names and my son got my father’s name since his indian last name will be with him forever. Shub is an NMN person too.

  7. MCV

    Middle Name from parents=Rose but I changed it to Calligan when married.


  8. Readers: love all the names and all the stories. Let me say here that, after I got through learning how to spell my name, I loved it. It was a real sacrifice to hand over my last name to Mr. Understanding – I am so happy it is part of my “official” name still.

  9. MCV

    Agree re: giving up maiden name. Ours is a good one and while I do adore the name Vanderbilt, I LOVE the name Calligan.

  10. Winnie

    Anne, and you can have it if you need it. I never use it and I can only remember hearing it issue, (sandwiched properly in place between my first and last names), from my mother’s lips as an indication that I was in big trouble.

  11. Sarah P

    Mine is Elizabeth, which was my grandmother’s. I love it. If I had had a daughter, it would have been her first name. Now I use my maiden name.

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