This was written in Sept. 2017 and has not been edited since. It can be found on Medium here.

To the boy at the table who was thoughtful enough to remind me that I, in fact, “had to” take the last name of my assumed future husband, I thank you. It was high time I remember how much my body, decisions, and intelligence are policed and denied, because I generally tend to avoid pretentious places like that and silencing people like you. Thank you for the sobering and necessary reminder.

I sound angry. I am angry. Not necessarily at you - well, maybe a little bit - but not really. You don’t really know any better - aye, there’s the rub! - and judging by how you’ve otherwise conducted yourself, I don’t doubt that you “meant well,” or might now remark that you were “just joking around!” But herein lies the issue, and if you’d indulge me for a moment, I’d like to break this down a bit.

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