Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's in a name..?

One of my very good friends (hi, Juliette!) has a sister who is getting married next month, and recently posted THIS on her facebook page.  Seriously, go read it.  It's an article about taking your husband's last name when you get married vs. hyphenating or whatever else you come up with.  As many of you know I have 2 last hyphen.  It took me a year into my marriage to add his name to mine as I firmly believed in keeping my name.  Not everyone agreed with that, including the hubs, but I felt and still feel strongly about maintaining that name for several reasons:

  1. I am the last one with the opportunity to carry that family name on.  That's a big deal.
  2. It is a unique name and has been a conversation starter on many occasions.
  3. It's who I am, damnit and just because I share my life with another person doesn't mean I have to change my identity.
Unfortunately, I am in the minority on this one as most women take their husband's name and I completely understand that too.  Sharing a name with your spouse signifies that you are family, united, all that jazz--I get it, and that's lovely-really.

After a year into our marriage we had been through the ringer, and my view changed slightly.  We were starting over in a new city, a new apartment, and with a new outlook on life, and I wanted to reflect that in a tangible way.  Adding his name onto mine is symbolic and my boss (who has 2 last names too..hooray for liberal east coasters!) said it best, and I share her sentiments.  I am no longer just who I was when I met my husband, nor am I a completely different person.  I am a combination of the two--and taking just one name doesn't do the other half any justice.  I am not just Melissa "Maiden Name" or Melissa "Husband's Last Name", I'm some weird combo of the two, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  And Sean, by the way, likes my last name(s) and is always super supportive of my decisions.  (Go Marriage!)

Although I get frustrated explaining it ("Yes, two last names, no hyphen"; :Yes it's long but I like it"; "No I don't identify as a feminist or buck the idea of tradition";"I'm sorry it takes you so long to address our Christmas card"; "No, I'm not Mrs. Hislasname for God's sake!") and I know that some people will never understand, I love having two last names and have some serious choice words for those who give me the judge eyes for it.

So here we go folks, your chance to sound off:

For the women: What are your plans/What did you do about changing your last name after marriage.  Was it something you really thought about--did your significant other ask you what you'd be comfortable with?

For the men:  What do you think about a woman NOT taking your last name, and where did those ideas come from?

I'm interested to hear other perspectives--let's do this.

1 comment:

  1. HOORAY!!! My very first blog shout out...I'm so happy. :-)

    To answer your question posted to your readers, I will be changing my last name. I am not as emotionally attached to my last night for a variety of reasons. A key one is that my father doesnt hold any pride in it and that has transfered to me. The second reason is that in many respects Dave is very easy going and 21st century...with the exception of the name changing. He told me he would be very hurt if I didnt want to take his. I love him, and I'm happy/excited to eventually be a Garemore.
    *plus....everyone CONSTANTLY pronouncing my last name wrong is crazy irritating!!!!


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