the name game

I am loving March’s photo-a-day challenge. Chantelle at FatMumSlim–you rock, chica!!

Today’s topic is one I’m passionate about: my name. More specifically, my last name. Don’t get me wrong–Christine is a lovely name. I was the only Christine in my class forever and ever. In fact, I didn’t meet another Christine until college. It suits me to a tee. I look like a Christine. This is no small feat, considering that my parents didn’t have names picked out and claim to have chosen the name when they laid eyes on newborn moi.

But my last name is infinitely cooler. It’s funky, unique, different. No one knows how to pronounce it. Or spell it.

I love this name. I love it because I love my parents and my grandparents and their story of coming over from Switzerland. There are only a handful of us in the United States.

You heard me. A handful. There’s my family, and my dad has a cousin out in California. My dad has sisters, but they all married and they gave up the last name. So I am one of precious few Mueris on this continent. Which is awesome, if you ask me.

Now, if you go to Switzerland, well, that’s another matter. There are gobs of Mueris there. Mueri is like Smith over there–you open the phone book and there are pages of Mueris. Technically, there are pages of Müris. Yup. That’s an umlaut. It just keeps getting cooler, right?

When my great grandparents came over on the boat, they had to change the spelling to get rid of the umlaut. So they shoved the ‘e’ in there, hoping for the same effect. But that extra e confuses people. For those of you keeping track, it’s M-U-E-R-I. And you pronounce that Murrey. Not Moo-air-ey. Or Moo-rye. Or Mee-air-ey. Just Mueri. Like curry. Or hurry.

This is my name. This wooden plate is among the most treasured possession in my parents’ house. It is hand-carved, and yes, that is our kick-ass family crest. Can it possibly get cooler? I think not.

I’m so passionate about my name that I didn’t change it when I got married. My husband was very understanding, most likely because he knew his last name couldn’t hope to compete with the impossibly high coolness factor of mine. He decided to keep his name, too. So we’re one of those weird couples with different last names. In academia, this isn’t weird. But the real world thinks it’s weird. I dig that.

Most people assume we have the same last name. I think this assumption is hilarious. Every time something comes in the mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Mueri, I giggle uncontrollably and think he only wishes he was cool enough to be a Mueri.

I am fiercely proud to be a Mueri and I hope to live a life that honors this one-of-a-kind name. I love being part of this group. Mueris are tough. We are fighters. We stick together. We’re passionate and we’re loud. We are doers. And we go big–big mistakes, big support, big fights, big love, big laughter, big silliness.

This is my name. And I would not change it for the world.

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