By Michelle Poston Combs of Rubber Shoes In Hell
Gwendolyn Kensington-Cross, formerly Candy Gail Jenkins, petitioned the court today to have her children’s names legally changed.
Her son, Tucker Wayne, is 11-years-old and says he doesn’t want to change his name. Her daughter, Misty Dawn, age 13, says she is willing to have her name changed but only if she can be called Destiny Alexa.
Ms. Kensington-Cross explained to the court that her husband recently had great success with a business venture and it enabled them to move to a more affluent neighborhood. While she was grateful for the opportunities this opened up for her children, she feared that their names would hold them back.
“I knew something had to be done,” Ms. Kensington-Cross began. “I knew it the day I planned to order their personalized bento boxes. How could I? How could I tell that woman taking my order that I had a Misty and a Tucker?”
When asked what new names she had chosen for her children, Ms. Kensington-Cross visibly brightened. “Oh, this was such a big decision. One we couldn’t take lightly. After much deliberation we decided on Imogen Esme and Huxley Dashiell. This was a very difficult decision as we really felt the names needed a ‘z’ in them but felt the z sound in Esme and the ‘x’ in Huxley made up for it.”
Ms. Kensington-Cross went on to ask the clerk how to correctly pronounce Imogen.
When her husband, Francis Henry Kensington-Cross, formerly Dwayne Lee Jenkins, was asked about changing his children’s names, he responded, “You know, whatever Candy wants. She’s a psycho hosebeast when she doesn’t get her way.”
Ms. Kensington-Cross responded by throwing a can of Mountain Dew at her husband’s head. “It’s Gwendolyn. GWENDOLYN!”
Social services were called while Ms. Kensington-Cross waited for a response from the clerk she approached about having her children’s names changed. However, the clerk did make it clear that she was calling social services because her friend Rachel worked there and she had a “fucked up story” to tell her.
Misty and Tucker Jenkins-Kensington-Cross both agreed to the new names in exchange for permission to get tattoos. Ms. Kensington-Cross promised they could get tattoos as long as they were discreet. “I mean, who didn’t get their first tattoo before junior high? It’s an important rite of passage.”
Ms. Kensington-Cross later became agitated at the time it was taking for the clerk to give her the forms to change her children’s names. “They have a self-actualizing pottery class in less than an hour, and then I am going to the spa to have my chakras shampooed.”
The clerk explained to Ms. Kensington-Cross that, once again, the only thing she could do for her was renew her driver’s license and that she would have to go to the courthouse for a name change.
About the Author
Michelle Poston Combs can be found at her blog Rubber Shoes In Hell. Her work can also be found on The Huffington Post, Better After 50, The Mid and Scary Mommy. She had an essay in Jen Mann’s latest anthology, I Still Just Want To Pee Alone. She was also in the 2015 Indianapolis cast of Listen To Your Mother.