Whenever I write I like to credit my name as Chase S. Wilkinson. It sounds nice. I always liked writers who published with their middle initial in their names. It made them seem dignified, as if what they had to say warranted more merit. When I began playing with the idea of seeing my name in print, I tried out different ways of presenting my name. Chase Wilkinson just never had that punch. I needed something more. I needed to try things the Grant way. I needed the “S.”
I played around with it for a while, but it always felt so pompous to me. It never felt like it was really my name. That was until I went to get my driver’s license.
My middle name is Stephen. It’s just like my father’s middle name, which is just like his father’s first name. That is unless you ask the state of Texas, but then they’ll just blame Cleveland, Ohio. Because on my birth certificate, printed in Cleveland, OH where I was born, has a typo. According to them my middle name is Steohen.
I saw this a few years before getting my license and thought nothing of it. I mean, my name is right on my social security card. No harm, no foul.
Except the lady at the DMV didn’t think so. According to her, my middle name was Steohen and the only way to put any other name on my driver’s license was to legally change my name. Well that seemed like a hassle, so I asked her, “What other options do I have?”
“Well you can just have your first and last name or you can put your middle initial,” she growled.
So I went with the initial. And now I sign everything Chase S. Wilkinson. It just seems right, now.