The hardest question I’ve ever been asked is, “What’s your name?” It’s crazy, but true. I was born with the name Lauren Elizabeth Burke. My mother fell in love with the name Lauren because she adored the actress Lauren Bacall. She wasn’t alone in her adoration, because there were always several other Laurens in my classes, on my sports teams or at Sunday school. You get the idea.
Luckily, or so I thought, a nickname of Lizard for my middle name began. Lizzie, Liz and even the occasional Liz Bo (aren’t dads funny?) were soon added to the list. There was also the short-lived LaurLiz. We’re going to let that one die with AOL Instant Messenger, which was also popular at the time. This confused everyone around me, including myself. Teachers would call me Lauren, and then friends would call me Liz or Lizzie.
In college, I had to commit to one name and picked Lizzie because there was another Lauren on my lacrosse team at Penn State. After college — when I entered the working world — I went back to Lauren because it was the name on the paycheck. Let’s just say, I’ve spent the better part of my life identifying with Zoolander, “Who am I?”
When I got married in 2016, I got my chance to change my name to what worked best. Weighing if I should drop Lauren or Elizabeth, and considering if I should hyphenate my maiden/married name, I settled on Lauren Burke Meyer.
While my middle name and last name get hyphenated from time to time, and there’s still confusion when I introduce myself as Lauren just to have my husband call me Lizzie, I feel good about my name change. And yes, I still answer to “Aunt Lizzie,” “Lizard” and “Liz.” However, I draw the line at answering to “LaurLiz” … see the paragraph above for your reminder why.
Now that I’ve made your head hurt talking about names without even sharing the joys of legally changing your name (insert sarcasm here), I’d like to explain the Lauren’s Law philosophy. It’s a fun play on the well-known adage Murphy’s Law: “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” While negative, this is too predictable and boring for me, and I just can’t relate. Lauren’s Law is my personal take on his law – how things can and will go wrong at times, despite my best efforts or on the other hand, how things go surprisingly lucky for me. Whichever side of the spectrum the stories lie on, comedy is the central theme. Let’s just say, Murphy’s got nothing on Lauren’s Law.
Here’s a taste of what I mean. A few years ago, my older sister Kristen Burke (you might know her from the Severna Park Hall of Fame, and if you don’t, ask her and she’ll tell you all about it) and I went to pick up carryout dinner for our family at our beloved Romilo’s. Always a little sister, I made my sister drive. And, always interested in the latest shiny object, my sister drove my car because it was somewhat new. We hadn’t left the driveway when, while driving my car, she reversed into her own car. She hit a parked car in the driveway, and her own for that matter. Once we realized there was no damage to either car, we couldn’t stop laughing. I’m still laughing to myself while writing this.
I don’t want to take myself too seriously, and I want to empower my readers to do the same. Thanks for joining me on this journey and be prepared to laugh each month!
Lauren Burke Meyer is a Severna Park native who was inspired to write Lauren's Law as a humorous play on the well-known Murphy’s Law adage: “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”