Introductions were always fun. I'd wait with anticipation to see how someone handled it. More often than not, I was just "Adam" - a safe and Cher-like statement. But every once in a while, I'd watch as the introducer, more than likely a long time friend or colleague, would destroy my last name. I'd get "Urnowski" "Urineski" "Uhnowski" and a barely audible mumble. I don't blame them, "Uhrynowski" is a hard name to pronounce. It's also a hard name to spell.
My wife Lindsey and I had debated what to do with our last name for a long time. She never changed her name to "Uhrynowski" and I whole heartedly said taking her last name wasn't something I wanted to do. So we had this small, but significant divide between us. We wanted to feel like a family unit, we wanted to share a name, but the options presented to us were less than amazing.
- We didn't want to hyphenate. Making a long last name even longer seemed ridiculous.
- We didn't want to create a combo name such as "Jarbowski." As funny as it is, it was a little odd.
- We didn't want to insult our families by choosing one name over the other.
- And because Lindsey and I are anything but traditional, we decided to think outside the box.
"What if we came up with our own last name? Something that has no meaning to any of our families?" I said, watching Lindsey's eyes start to sparkle with the idea.
"Something totally new? I love it!" She said.
And so, we began to search for a new last name. Something that met a handful of criteria.
- It couldn't reference any of our families for fear of "playing sides."
- It had to be easy to say.
- It had to be easy to spell.
- It had to be short.
- We wanted it toward the beginning of the alphabet.
- It had to sound good with our names.
We spent a few weeks going back and forth, but finally arrived at our new last name: DRAKE. We sat with it for awhile. We tried to poke holes in it. But nothing we did kept us from really enjoying the name. (Mediocre Canadian rappers aside.)
It took some time and a lot of paper work, but after almost a year, Lindsey and I are, officially, the Drakes. We understand this is unconventional, it's weird, it's kind of funny, but it's also something that we felt we needed to do in order to bring us even closer together.
And so that's that. I'll always be a Uhrynowski. I'll always be a Ferguson. But I'll also be a Drake, something I can share forever with the love of my life.