Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the name game

before AWD and i were even seriously dating i announced that when i got married, whenever and to whomever that happened to be, i wasn't going to change my name. i didn't know at the time if i was going to marry AWD or not (for the record, turns out i did), but i figured that whatever happened, he should have all the facts.

and he took it like a champ. in fact, the next day he came back to me and pointed out that he wouldn't want to change his name, so why should i want to change mine? and you better believe that tipped the marriage scales in his direction.

on the one hand, not changing my name has made my transition to marriage a pretty uncomplicated one, record-keeping-wise at least. i didn't have to change credit cards or social security cards or drivers licenses or passports or utility accounts or any of the 1 billion other things that have my name on them.

and, not to be over-dramatic or anything, but i also didn't have to change my identity. i've been myself (first and last name) for a long time and i am sort of attached.

but, that's not to say there haven't been some complications, especially at church. my name was changed automatically on the church records and i had to ask for it to be changed back. and i feel like i am always sort of apologetically explaining to people that AWD and i have different last names but that doesn't mean i don't like him. i am probably making it harder than it is, feeling like i need to walk everyone through all the reasons why i kept my name every time i introduce myself, but i do it anyway.

so maybe this is why more and more women are choosing to take their husband's names? i have to admit, i was a little surprised at that, but i suppose it provides it's own brand of simplicity.

there are obviously arguments, and personal motivations for either side, and i am not here to say one is better or more right than the other, but i am sticking to my choice for now. partly because i am lazy, but mostly because i am me and i'd like to stay that way, name and all.


Kate said...

I really miss being a Jones - never having to spell it was the best! I do like the convenience of one name for our family, especially since Harrison came along.

Either way, good for you for making a decision and sticking to it, church records and all.

PNRBAC said...

Sylvia dated a guy who married the girl he dated after he broke up with Syl - and he took his wife's name instead of her taking his.

and I thought that was kind of weird.

but hey - to each his own right?

I've never really thought about the subject...why I changed my name...but now thinking about, my husband and our marriage is a big part of my identity and so I don't really feel less of myself by having taken his name. However I agree with Kate - good for you for thinking it through instead of just doing it to do it.

Mom said...

I always expected to take my husband's name, so didn't think much about it in advance, but it was weird to wake up one day and be a person with no history. Everything I had accomplished up to then was as Amy Bennett, and Amy Johnson was nobody. (Of course I took care of that as quickly as I could!)

sarah said...

I admit it was hard to become a Mellor. Not only was I Sarah Jones (with no middle name mind you) for 29 years, but people always called me Sarah Jones....first and last...just one of those names I guess, and I liked that. As generic a name as it was. The nice thing was keeping my maiden name as my middle name, so I am still Sarah Jones, just with a little Mellor thrown in. It adds something. But people keep thinking it is hyphenated, which is fine, just gets confusing sometimes when looking me up in various systems. Still much easier than when the pharmacy would look for Sarah Jones and the computer system would actually freeze because there were too many of us in there.

heidikins said...

(Blog lurker--not stalker--and first time commenter here)

I love this post. I love your reasoning. I will also not be changing my name and for somewhat similar reasons. I've spent my whole life as heidi d., I'll sign my marriage license as heidi d., my fiance fell in love with heidi d. Why change it now?

Lots of things in this post...thank you again for sharing!


Evan and Holly said...

I HATED my maiden name. Middle and last. I got rid of them both. I hardly remember what my name used to be. It is second nature now to be a Young. I also didn't like who I was and thought it would be a nice way to start over. Too bad, it really didn't change. I always wondered though what it would be like to be in the church (in the USA) and not take your husband's name. How would that work and how would people react and what would people do? Love you. Sorry we wrote Mr. & Mrs. on the envelope of your gift :)

Naomi said...

My thoughts on this have changed as I've aged and accomplished more. If/when I get married, I'm keeping my name. And I think it's annoying that the church just changes it automatically for you.

CL said...

Glad you found what worked for you!! I'm like Sarah. Grew up with no middle name so I could move my maiden name over. I like it and it's worked for me...until the NV DMV informed me 8 1/2 years and billions of documents later that I couldn't do that and that was NOT my name. So- my current ID does not have my maiden name which ticks me off- because despite what they say I pick my name- not tham. I'm going to try to get a recent passport with all 3 names and then the NV DMV can stuff it.