My birth name was Patrick Andrew Fleckenstein, Jr.
Through grade school, most kids and teachers called me Pat. Most adults called me Patrick to distinguish me from my dad.
Lots of folks from high school called me Fleck to distinguish me from the other Pat.
Most folks in college referred to me as
Pat until another Pat arrived. After
that, I was PatPat or
PatPatPatPatPat...Pat (which for the geeks
amongst ye, is properly expressed
Hannah started calling me Patrick because she prefers to use full names.
Throughout all of this, I have signed my name Patrick A. Fleckenstein, Jr. This is so ingrained that it took me four attempts to sign my name as P.A. Fleckenstein when the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles demanded that I sign *exactly* as it appeared on my driver's license.
When Hannah and I got married, we decided to both change our names. We are fiercly egalitarian. It would have been inconvenient to hypenate---beyond which, what recourse will our children have when it is their turn to hypenate?
Anyway, the State of Minnesota would not let us truncate our names on the marriage license. So, we had our names legally changed here in New York State after the wedding. This is a nightmarish process because there is no declared process. (I promise that we will spell it out sometime soon so that it is written somewhere.)
Regardless, now my name is Patrick Andrew
Stein. I am still a Fleckenstein. I
am still a Jr. I am still a
Fleck. I am still a