Friday, February 26, 2010

Who Are You?

So I have a husband named Tom.

At least, I thought his name was Tom.

He’s slowly been morphing himself into Thomas.

It started awhile back when he ordered some pizza. I heard him say to the pizza guy, “My name is Thomas.”


I frowned but let it slide past.

Then when he bought his Kevlar tires he was asked for a name.

“Thomas,” he said.

“I thought you were Tom,” I whispered at him.

The Sears worker taking Tom’s name looked up with a start. He was probably wondering if I was some One Night Stand that had gone on longer than planned.

“I can be Thomas.” Tom shrugged like it was no big deal. “The name is on my birth certificate, you know.”

Well. Yes. But he had always been Tom to me. When he introduced himself in high school he said, “Hi, I’m TOM.” Not Thomas. He didn’t tell me, “Hi, I’m Tom but in about twelve years I’m going to go by Thomas. Cool?”

When he signed my Valentine’s Day card I noticed he signed it Thomas.

Then when I was on Facebook the other day I noticed that he had changed his name from Tom to Thomas.

What in the holy heck?

“Who are you?” I demanded. “Am I supposed to call you Thomas now? Because I won’t!”

“Things change,” Tom said casually. I hate how he rarely gets worked up over anything. He just calmly sat on the couch and flipped through a magazine.

“Are you having some sort of midlife crisis?” I wondered. Then I started to panic. First comes the name change, then comes wanting to buy a motorcycle, then comes wanting a fresh wife...granted, don’t midlife crisis’s start when the person is older? Thus the name MIDLIFE crisis? But then again, when you’re an Airman in the Air Force, I imagine midlife crisis’s could come much sooner.

“No midlife crisis,” Tom replied.

“Are you trying to be like a celebrity? I mean Puff Daddy changed his name a lot. He was Puff Daddy, the he wanted P. Diddy, and then he wanted Diddy, and I have no idea what he’s going by these days.” I placed my hand solemnly on his shoulder. “Are you pulling a Puff Daddy, Tom?”

Tom rolled his eyes. “I’m not pulling a Puff Daddy. I’m just going by my given name.”

“But really, am I supposed to call you Thomas now?”

Tom shrugged again. “That’s up to you.”

“You do know I like the name Thomas. It has a Tudor-esque ring to it. You know how much I love Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Moore, God rest their souls. Practically everyone was named Thomas in that time. So if you really wanted me to, I suppose I could be coerced to call you Thomas,” I said grandly.

Tom set his magazine aside. “You can call me what you want. I don’t care.”

He was frustrating me. “What if I just wanted to abruptly change my name?” I asked.

Tom started tugging on a loose piece of skin from his hand. Ew. Why must he do that in front of me? “If you wanted to change your name then fine. I don’t know why you’re making a big deal out of this.”

“I don’t know what to call my own husband anymore, that's why I'm making a big deal over this!”

“And I just told you to call me what you want.”

An evil glint came into my eye. “Fine. I’ll call you Mid Life Crisis Tom/Thomas then.”

“But I’m not having a mid life crisis.”

“Fine! Then to be on the safe side you’ll be Tom-slash-Thomas to me now. So Tom-slash-Thomas, what do you want for dinner?” I wondered sweetly.

“Don’t do that. Call me one or the other.”

(Was so tempted to call him One Or The Other, you have no idea how hard it was not to comment on that...)

“I like Tom-slash-Thomas. It has a fun ring to it," I said happily.

“Sometimes I think you need help,” Tom said, standing up. He headed into the kitchen.

“I love you, Tom-slash-Thomas!” I yelled to his back.


  1. I can see how that'd be confusing! I know people who did that....

  2. men...I swear they can drive you nuts!

  3. That drives me crazy when people you know change their names on least he doesn't care what you call him.Therefore, you MUST come up with a really off the wall name to call him since he said you can call him what you want. Or you could come up with a really hooker kind of name and tell him it's your new name!

  4. That is weird. After all those years why would he want to change? I dont understand Men. Tell him that Thomas reminds you of Thomas the tank engine and who wants to be compared to a toy?!?

  5. I agree. Weird. Good thing my husband's name is Adam.

  6. Oh no. I can one-up this.. actually, its so horrible it might be a two-up.

    When I first started dating my boyfriend, he introduced himself as one name, and that was that. We worked together, and even his email went to that name. Until about a month or so into the relationship when he handed me his debit card to pay for something, and I happened to glance down at it. And did a double take because the name that appeared on the card was not even remotely close to what I had been calling him for the past 30-40 days. I said, "What the hell is this?" And he's all, "Oh, that's my real name.." all nonchalant like this is not a big deal. My mouth dropped, I'm like, "So, am I calling you by your middle name then?" And he says, "No, you call me by a nickname for my middle name. Hardly anyone knows my first name." Which fair enough, but I was DATING HIM. I think this gives me priveleges to know his REAL FIRST NAME. And what I had been calling him was what, a nickname for his MIDDLE NAME?? What kind of shit is that? And it pisses me off because I really like his real name better, but by that point I was used to calling him what I called him, so it was a habit I couldn't change. I still call him that too by the way. He ruined everything.

    This totally should have been a post on my own blog. Instead its a giant comment. You're welcome :)

  7. When I met my now-husband's parents for the first time his dad introduced himself as Bob. For some reason DH's mother calls her husband by their last name. So I keep calling him Bob because that's how he introduces himself. Later DH's SIL tells me that his name is Rob, not Bob. I'm mortified and yell at DH. Turns out that Rob DID introduce himself as Bob because he always wanted to go by that name instead but his family always called him Rob. So now, everyone calls him Bob. I love that story.

  8. HAHA!!
    and i think the best part of this whole entry is that there are two pictures of him SMILING...albeit the same photos...but that's not the point. :p
    thomas sounds more serious. maybe he's doing it so that people take him seriously?
    like his dog that he works with?? :p

  9. are you my twin?! both air force wives, both incredibly smart and witty and amazing. in all reality, i actually feel sorry for our husbands. at the end of the day after all the long debates/conversations we have, i'm sure my husband's brain is pretty exhausted.

  10. I married a man by the name of Todd. You can't change that. but I dated a Robert. Introduced as Bob and then met his family that called him Robbie, dated for three years and then he wanted to be called Rob. Man, i was confused. I am glad it is over now.

  11. :) What a funny story!

    I like Thomas though! :) Although Tom slash Thomas really rolls off your tongue! ;)

  12. oh yes!!!

    in my little world.. this IS A BIG DEAL.. i don't do change well.. so this would probably tend to freak me out a bit!!!

  13. My husbands cousin changed her name from Kathy to Katherine. Whenever i go into the store that she owns her I say hi to her employees and say "is Kathy here" because I've only ever known her as Kathy - they know damn well who I am talking about and they say "who? Kathy? Do you know a Kathy? Ohhhh.... Kathrine" *eye roll* Yes, Katherine, you know, I've known her 6 years longer than you and I'm family - I'll call her what I call her. KATHERINE always apologizes and says I can call her whatever.

  14. This is definitely a men issue.

    My brother Robert grew up being called Bobby. Of course, as soon as he graduated and joined the Navy, he changed it to Bob. But then... every time he got re-stationed, he CHANGED IT! His reasoning was so that when he'd see someone he'd know where he knew them from by what name they called him! He went by Rob at the last place he was stationed and that's where he ended up living and met/married his wife (now ex-wife). So EVERYONE calls him Rob now. Except the family, who never knows what to call him! So when we are talking about him to each other, we call him Bobby!

    I think the name Robert should be outlawed!

  15. I have a friend that did that! When I met him in high school his name was Jerry. All of a sudden he got mixed up in some more power to the Latinos group and all of a sudden he wants to go by Gera (pronounced like Hera) becuase Jerry was a name given to him by the white man that couldn't say his name . . . bunch of BS if you ask me. I made it very clear to him I would have no part of this mayhem and foolishness and that I would continue to call him Jerry because that's how I first met him. So there!

  16. This is hilarious! I know so many guys who went by Kris in high school, then became Kristian, or Matt, then Matthew, or Robbie, then Robert. I am happy to say my Jeremiah has always been Jerry lol. Hope you have a great weekend honey! Kori xoxo

  17. Stinking hilarious! I would flip too if my hubster tried to change his name on me. I like the sound of Tom/Thomas. Has a nice ring to it.

  18. This has to be a guy thing.

    My brother, whom I've called "Matt" since the day he was born... has recently decided he wants to be called "Matthew".

  19. I so would have called him "ONE OR THE OTHER" and wouldn't have thught twice about it! I had the opposite problem. My husband introduced himself to me by his full name, and when I met his family, I learned that everyone else called him by a nickname.
    So, are you still teasing him with the Tom/Thomas thing? I totally think you should be!

  20. I married a Rob, that grew up as Robbie and has since turned into Robert. But anyone over 50 calls him Bob. Nice.

  21. He just gets funnier and funnier. ;) One or the Other sounds perfect. :D

  22. ROFLMAO!! That is the funniest thing I have read today.

    I think you should tell him you changed your mind about the Tom-slash-Thomas thing and say he is now "one or the other" to you :)

  23. You two really are perfect for each-other!

  24. I love One or the Other, but Tom Slash Thomas is hilarious.! You are the funniest writer!!! You could get Tommy in on this with you, like calling him Father instead of Dad, you know, just to mess with him.

  25. I feel your pain. My husband went by his middle name growing up and decided to start going by his first name a few years before I met him. He introduced himself to me by his first name and when we started dating, I heard his mom call him by his middle name. It was very confusing. After a few years, we decided to get married. All of his family knew him by his middle name and all of my family knew him by his first name and his cousin was the pastor who married us. My poor grandfather leaned over during the ceremoy and whispered to my mom, "I thought she was marrying some guy named James?!" Then, to make things worse, after we were married for about 2 years he decided to start using his middle name again. Now, we have a mix of people who call him James and an even bigger mix of people who call him Gary and really the whole thing is very confusing.

  26. It does have a nice ring to it.

  27. I usually call a person by the name that they give to me upon introduction; however, when I met my husband, he introduced himself as Willie.

    Now you can see why I might not want to use this particular moniker. It brings to mind a certain appendage that really belongs in his pants, not on his nametag.

    So, the minute I found out other people, like his mother and the wife of his best friend, called him by his full name, William, I was on it like a rash.

    Now it is only "William" and when I am nagging, it is "Will-ee-um". Now at work he introduces himself as "Will", which is far better an association, such as one's will power, or free will (or not so free as I have managed to change his name from something he was perfectly happy with!).

    But come on, if your hubby's name was Dick or P.P., wouldn't you want to change it too?

    Shelly at Tropical Mum

  28. OMG, you are a RIOT! On a COMPLETELY unrelated story, my ex-husband, Andy, once he left me, suddenly started calling himself "Andrew" and wanted everyone else to do the same! Whaaa?

  29. I think a lot of people who grew up with nicknames or shortened names switch to their formal name sometime in their 20s. It reflects their sense of responsibility or their desire to be taken seriously. Usually their families and childhood friends still call them by their nicknames, unless they happen to like the longer name. I would have liked to change to a more glamorous and sophisticated name, but I would have had to just make it up.

  30. You are always such a good laugh. I like Tom-slash-Thomas lol

  31. I feel I must out myself.

    I was always Jennifer to my friends, and Jenny to my immediate family.

    I always insisted that no one call me Jenny. It was too girly and jack assy.

    When I met my husband, he started calling me Jen and it stuck. Most people in my circle call me Jen now. It's shorter and I like it.

  32. There was a time in my life when I decided to start going by my given name rather than my nickname. was in the 6th grade....

    I totally would've gone with One or The Other!

  33. Strange. Weird. Why? My husbands name is James but everyone calls him Jim and if he ever told me that I should start calling him James I think I would call him loser instead. Good luck!

  34. Interesting... maybe he's feeling a new level of maturity and responsibility. Or maybe he met a new guy in his unit named Tom and he hates him... Or not...

  35. Men are just plain weird anyway. My nephew was Aaron, then his middle name, Daniel, now he's "Norm". I told him there ain't nothin' norm about him. :)

  36. Poor guy, I bet he just loved this post :)

  37. Hmm,I've dated a couple of Tom's who I insisted on calling Thomas because my father is Tom and my brother is Tommy and HELLO, there are just some times when you should not be calling out your dad or your brothers name.

    So, I'm with Thomas!

  38. Lu dated a guy who did that. Went from Michael to Mike. It was so confusing. I never knew what to call him. So I settled for Asshat.


  39. Hahaha! I felt like I was watching a romantic comedy or reading a chick lit book. That was hilarious! Love your blog. :D Visiting from SITS. Have a good weekend.


  40. That is too funny! I think "Tom" sounds so much more serious than Thomas. My youngest is Thomas (actually after The Tank Engine, so it was funny to see one person say that.) Most of the time we call him Tank. Start calling him Tank and see how that works out. Being military, he just might like it. :-)

    Besides, Tank will fit much better on him when he gets his leather chaps to wear on his new Harley ROTFL!

  41. Oh and I call my husband... I have to try to pronounce it out first, then I will spell it. LOL!

    Shhh-Th-eeed (like bead)

    got that?

    You spell it: Shithead ;-)

  42. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog is funny! My sister did the same thing with her name. We always called her Ruthie, then when she got to high school her friends called her Ruth, but she didn't tell anyone else to call her anything different.


  43. Hahahaha- that is hilarious. I wonder why the change of heart all the sudden?

  44. Thanks for visiting my blog! I've enjoyed hanging out here and reading a while. Have a great day!

  45. hehe very cute!! I met my husband online and he used a nickname. It took me about 2 years INTO our marriage for me to figure out what to call him...I still don't know what to call his parents. hmph.

  46. Bless him... he is growing up and wants to change his name. Like I did when I grew up... snort!

  47. Thanks for stopping by hip weddings. That is too funny...I would have called him one or the other. My son had this name switcheroo...but he's 8. Well told.

    hip Weddings
    504 Main

  48. Oh that's hysterical! I never had anyone do that to me...what WILL you be calling him? :)

  49. I totally vote for "One Or The Other". What? We're not voting?

  50. I went all thru school with a guy named Mike. He married the girl down the street from me and suddenly his name was Tom.
    He went by his middle name in school and as an adult decided to use his first name.
    Go Figure.
    Oh, and One or the Other is such a sweet name... you really should use that one! LOL

  51. That is weird. But reminds me that I dont call my husband by his real name. His real name is Robert. However his family calls him Bobbie. (and I was friends with his sister when we first met) So family calls him Bobbie, and friends call him Robert. And I never call him Robert. He doesnt even look like a Robert! lol

  52. My oldest son is Thomas after my husband, who goes by Don... big leap, I know... When Thomas was in high school he decided to go by Tom... it broke my heart. He'll always be Thomas to me.

    Every so often, hubby will say his name is Tom. Every time he does that I have this knee-jerk reaction and want to say, no it isn't. He was Donny or Don since the day he was born. Then of course Don and Tom sound a lot alike. People always end up thinking they've been calling him the wrong name forever. Geesh.

  53. Found your blog through Dry As Toast.

    Funny story. I prefer calling people by their shortened name. Mike instead of Michael, Dave instead of David, etc.

    What WILL you call your husband now?

  54. You are such a hoot! My college kids have several friends who have changed their names like this. I don't know anyone my age that has done it. On the other hand, I have plenty of friends whose midlife husbands are divorcing them. Maybe you should embrace the name change. All in all, not a bad crisis!

  55. Now that he is all so stuffy and formal - "Thomas" does that mean he stopped playing computer games and watching Spongebob Squarepants? I think not...

    Maybe its something to prepare him for the Korea trip... if Tom a firty word in Korean?

  56. This story was too funny. You'll let us know what you decide to call him, I hope!

  57. Iwas born Kathleen -Blech! When I was 15 I started going by my initials whcih were KC which morphed into Casey and I kept that name until I divorced my then husband. Now I am Caitlin, I also gave myself a middle name Grace. I personally think its great to change your name to suit how you are maturing.
    My Darling calls me Bling so he has no trouble with whatever I choose to call myself.
    So I say come up with your own name for him!! One or the Other is a good place to start

  58. This happened on Friends once.

    Phoebe changed her name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock, so Mike changed his name to Crap Bag.

    I think Consuela has a nice ring to it.

  59. I went from Angie to Angelia many years ago, the hubby however is only beginning to move to the "adult" name. Funny how that works...

  60. My husband recently went from Johnny to John and I was having the same feelings?! Who is this new creature you call John?!

    Hope Tom-slash-Thomas isn't going throgh Midlife crisis!

  61. My husband changed his name from the version he was called as a child to a simpler, more adult one a few months after we started dating. My grandparents and my parents best friends still call him the old one no matter how many times we all say the new one to/in front of them.
    *says slyly* Perhaps you should call him Tommy.

  62. He's so cute I'd call him StudMuffin!


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