SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

May 13, 2013

Dear Abby: Groom faces pressure to change his name

:Dear Abby: My wife’s niece is marrying a wonderful man of Greek descent this summer. Her grandfather insists that his last name is too long and impossible to pronounce. He thinks they need to change the name when they marry. He went so far as to make them call him so he could tell them what he wanted. Then he gave them 10 days to “think about it” and call him back with their answer.

He told the mother of the bride that if they don’t change the name, then he’s “just not into the wedding anymore,” implying that he won’t help them pay for the event. Needless to say, this has most of the family shaking their heads and thinking the old man has finally lost it.

We understand that this was common practice for families passing through Ellis Island coming to America a century ago, but have you ever heard of this being done for a wedding? Being a therapist, I thought I’d seen and heard it all — until now. Please give us some insight. I’m hoping his “lady friend” will read your reply and share it with him.

:Can’t Believe It Down South

:Dear Can’t Believe It: You have described a man who is used to being in control and is not above using his money to manipulate. A century ago when people came to this country through Ellis Island, many of them were escaping discrimination and wanted to leave their past behind them, which is why they Americanized their names.

Others had it done “for” them by government officials who couldn’t understand them when they pronounced their names and wrote down what they thought they heard. (Years ago, in Sioux City, Iowa, my mother knew two brothers who walked through different lines and wound up with the names “Ginsberg” and “Landsberg.” I don’t know which was correct.) Still others were so eager to become “Americans” that they shortened or changed their names for that reason.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Vet Connection: Is it OK to give a dog a bone? We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later. Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding dogs these treat

    April 18, 2014

  • Ask Dog Lady: Why is my dog fascinated with burying things? Dear Dog Lady, My dog came across a dead cat at the park and proceeded to bury the cat with surrounding leaves by using her nose and pushing the leaves over the dead cat. Two days later, we went back to the park, and she found the dead cat again and

    April 18, 2014

  • ed Ipswich author to share drawing techniques Most of Ed Emberley's 80 children's books, 20 of which are still in print, have one goal in mind. "Showing the kids you can draw; everybody can draw something," he said. "They get encouragement from working with the simplest thing." Emberley will giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • holtenhouse Quick pick 'Voices From the Back Stairs' Jennifer Pustz of Historic New England presents "Voices From the Back Stairs" tomorrow at 2, at the Judge Samuel Holten House, 171 Holten St., Danvers. In her presentation, Pustz explores domestic service in 19th- and 20

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Assistant’s gruff attitude needs to be smoothed out Dear Abby: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brown-noser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people

    April 18, 2014

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, April 18

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Poundstone2 Wait, wait ... it's Paula Paula Poundstone often makes fun of her own awkward appearance, which she emphasizes by wearing men's ties and wide-lapel suits. "Is it me, or do I have the worst posture in the history of the world?" she asks in one routine. "I hope to eventually go

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • mainstage 'Servant of Two Masters' designed to keep you laughing The Mainstage Theatre at Salem State, which will shut its doors in June, opened 30 years ago to the sound of laughter. With performances this weekend and next of Carlo Goldoni's "The Servant of Two Masters," it's going to close that way, as well. "

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fishes North Shore Entertainment Calendar Music MUSIC AT GULU-GULU. Shows are at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted, at Gulu-Gulu Cafe, 247 Essex St., Salem. Thursday, April 17, David Simmons Annual Theme Night, a Simon and Garfunkel Tribute; Friday, April 18, Lowman, alternative; Saturday, April

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140415_SN_HAND_READERSEYE The reader's eye Name: Corey Kramer Hometown: Beverly Description: "I pass by this view every day on my way to school. This photo was taken at Endicott Beach. I enjoy taking photos of nature, which does not require human recognition to show its beauty. I have done ve

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker