#221 – Nobody’s Pigeon

What’s in a name? I’d say “a lot,” especially in light of this afternoon’s conversation with Mary Pidgeon.

I picked my wife up at her office today for one of our rare lunch dates. While she finished a task, Sophia left me in the care of a co-worker. The woman, Mary, knew I practiced law and asked whether I did any matrimonial work. When I answered in the affirmative, she told me her husband had just filed for divorce. Then she asked: “Will it be easy for me to take my maiden name again?”

I informed her she shouldn’t have a problem resuming her maiden name, absent some unusual factor. Out of curiosity, I solicited her current moniker. She replied: “It’s Mary Arlen Pidgeon.”

Jokester that I am, I couldn’t help but find the childish humor in her appellation: “You mean to say your full name is ‘marry a pigeon’?”

She tossed off an obligatory chuckle before noting the irony of her situation: “As it turned out, I did marry a ‘pigeon!’ And I’m a “pigeon” for doing it. But now I don’t want to be a Pidgeon anymore. You’re telling me I won’t have to, right?”

“Right,” I assured her. “Is ‘Arlen’ the maiden name you’ll want to restore?”

“No, ‘Arlen’ is my middle name.”

That caught me by surprise: “Really? Why did you intentionally call yourself ‘marry a pigeon,’ when you could’ve hyphenated your maiden name instead?”

Emphatically shaking her head, she exclaimed: “Oh no. A hyphen would’ve been much worse!”

“C’mon Mary!” I insisted. “What could be worse than ‘marry a pigeon’?”

“Richard, my maiden name is “Fuchs.”

She had a point. As unfortunate as her existing name seemed, “Mary Fuchs-Pidgeon” would’ve sounded even more laughable (though I’d have paid good money to see that name-plate on an office desk).

By then, Sophia was ready for lunch. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a parting observation: Well, ‘Mary Fuchs’, the good news is, your maiden name should come in handy once you start dating again.”

“Why is that, Richard?”

“Because it pays to advertise!”


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