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Today, I had a column run in my newspaper about changing my name. When I get married in a month, I will be taking my husband’s last name.

The decision is one of the hardest I have ever made. (I’m careful not to share my last name in social media land. If you want to read the column and not post it anywhere, just shoot me an email.)


As I discussed the topic with a friend of mine, Dana, she said to me, “I really liked what Nancy Gibbs said about it … how is keeping the last name of our fathers any less patriarchal than taking on the last name of our husbands? At least one of those last names was a choice we made.”

Gibbs is an editor at Time magazine and one of the most amazing writers I’ve ever encountered. A friend of mine (not Dana) and I in college used to get issues of the magazine and read Gibbs’ words aloud to one another. They’re so poetic and perfectly chosen. She’s the kind of writer that makes a writer say, “I should stop doing what I’m doing, because I will never, ever be this good.”

I told Dana, I wish I could swap brains with her for a day, just to see what it’s like.

“Wouldn’t that be grand if we could do that?” she asked. “You’d have to have like a backup hard drive of your own brain so that you could have awareness of what you were perceiving … but this should definitely be a thing.”

If this were a thing, I’d swap with Gibbs, obviously. I’d swap with Stephen King, naturally. And I’d swap with Joey. I’ve always wondered how my baby brother (who has autism) views the world.

Who’s brain would you want to wear for a day?