A couple of people have asked about the title of my blog, Crown Optional. I mention the origin of it on my Home page, but it goes deeper than that.
Obviously, my name is Heinis. Like Your Highness, in case you didn’t read my home page and/or don’t know me IRL. So there’s this royalty kind of theme going already. (But my spouse is the youngest of seven kids, so even if we WERE royalty, a lot of people would have to die before we’d be given actual crowns. Just sayin’.) Funny story about my spouse’s name, actually. I’m diverging.
I knew Patrick for a few years before we started dating. A period during which he was just my friend’s boyfriend’s friend. He was just kind of around. This party, that party. A group outing to a hockey game. He finally grabbed my rapt attention when we were both in a wedding together (that tends to happen to friends of friends). I saw his full name for the first time in the program. I began fantasizing about him. Yes, like that, but I was a single woman with goals, so also in the whatifwegotmarried kind of way. Yes, before our first date even. I was right, wasn’t I? Hush. As I was saying, I had only ever seen his name in print. Heinis. Looks like Heineken. Promising. But, dear God, what if it’s heinous!? I was a teacher then, remember. I’d be unable to take his name if that’s how it was pronounced. I would not be Mrs. Heinous.
I figured it was rude to come out and ask someone if their name was a grievous insult. So, we dated. We dated, and I waited. Eventually, he or someone else would say it aloud. I began imagining myself as someone who just wouldn’t take their spouse’s name. And that’s fine. Lots of people do it. I’m a big fan. (Two of my nephews got married last year, and I was super thrilled when neither of their brides changed their names; both of them have names so lovely they could be stage names. Seriously, I couldn’t have chosen more beautiful names if I were trying to. Gorgeous. They also reflect their personalities. Rare. They also both happen to be lawyers, so maybe they didn’t want to give up their professional identities. I could just ask them. This parentheses has gotten out of hand.) Sometimes, I wonder why on earth some people give up such cool names for something run-of-the-mill like Smith or Olson (digs at my closest friends with said last names). I could think of a TON of names I wouldn’t change for, especially because my maiden name was pretty solid. But I always figured I would change my name. And for Heinis (Highness)? You bet your ass I would. So, I was reaaaalllllly hoping it wouldn’t be Heinous.
One night after a great date at Chili’s (yes, with the right person, you can have a great date at Chili’s), we were driving home and his phone rang. He apologized, but had to answer it. And thank you Sweet Jesus, he answered it like this, “This is Patrick Heinis.” I let out a sigh of relief large enough for him to notice. When he got off the phone, I had to fess up. We had a good laugh, proving, as he always did, why he was a definite keeper. The rest, as they say, is history.
Except that I just gave your three paragraphs NOT about what Crown Optional means. I’m going to click Publish anyway and make you come back tomorrow for that story. Peace.