Southern Belle? No. Korean husband.

korean soutern belleLeah Lee (now Leah Durst-Lee),
Chicago, IL.

Keeping cultural heritage is very important to me, so when I married my husband, Sihyun Lee, I wanted our kids to have a Korean surname. Our first year and a half of marriage, I took my husband’s name and became ‘Leah Lee.’ It was awful! Almost everyone I introduced myself to stifled a laugh and proceeded to ask me something about the American South. My mom is a Californian and I am from Iowa, so naturally I couldn’t speak to anything ‘Southern.’ Once people grew to know me more, many insisted on a nickname of ‘LeahLee’ slurred together in a Southern drawl. Needless to say, I recently hyphenated my name and haven’t received a single new Southern belle quip.

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