7.20.2011

Name Change

Name change articles aren't exactly rare on the internet.  But Sunday's WSJ installment was the first I'd read since marrying.  As a child, I always assumed I'd easily and happily change my name once I got married.  Why not?  I even used to practice my first name with the last name of whatever boy I had a crush on.  Yes, I was a teenage book series!  LOL  I also remember when after my parents' divorce, my mom considered changing her name and I balked because I wanted us to have the same last name.

Then as I got older and grew into the name I used to hate, not my last name as much as my first, I felt a great attachment to it.  Then once I made my first film with my maiden name, things really became strange.  My cousin the vet kept her name professionally when she married a few years ago.  I thought, seems like it would work for me, too.  And there's always the option of not legally changing your name, but occasionally going by it when it's most convenient.  But I kind of don't want to be half in and half out.  And I don't really want to lose any part of my name.  But to go by all of it seems cumbersome and pretentious and just not me.  My name was long enough already without adding another name to it.  But it looks like professionally, at least for a while, I'll be just that long name person.  Only one thing has remained the same from childhood to now-- I don't want a hyphenated name.

There is an unexpected joy, though in changing my name.  I will field fewer friend requests from people I don't want to friend anyway and it's a chance to start over.  I'm not running from the law or anything but the idea of disappearing a bit in a name change still has some appeal.  It's almost like you get to become a new person.  Like moving to a new city or state or country must do.  It's a new start navigating the world as you now know it.
  
As exhilarating as it was the first time I made a reservation under my new last name (I texted people!) LOL... I still feel a little sadness when I use it.  Like I say goodbye to old Jameil every time.  This is so melodramatic.  I really am mildly annoyed there's so much angst over changing your name. And halfway wish for the days when it was automatic.  Then there'd be no problem.

But the mild feminist in me won't sit down.  Why should I have to give up that part of me?  She scoffed when I tried to get Rashan to make the decision for me.  But he said he didn't care.  Smart move.  LOL  I'm sure I would have been annoyed with his answer either way.  So yes, I've changed my name on facebook, my grocery store rewards cards and a mag subscription or two.   And yes facebook has actually helped me become a little more used to my new last name.  But no, I have not tackled the larger name change tasks because I'm kind of still not sure.

12 comments:

Nicole said...

What a beautifully honest post.

K. Rock said...

I understand your reservation. When I got married though, I couldn't get to the SS office fast enough. I wanted to and was excited to take my husband's last name. I was young so I hadn't really had anything professionally attached to my maiden name but I dont know if that would have made a huge difference to me. I am and will always be a *maiden name*. No one can take that from me. But I, personally, am super proud to carry my husbands name because he's awesome! But that's just me...

akima said...

I've decided not to change my name but I'm not a fanatic about it. I just don't want to. I've known some women that seem to waiting for someone to call them by their married name so they can correct it - with lots of attitude to boot. I don't care if people call, write, address me with my soon-to-be husband's last name but I am me - my first name and last name. I've been this name for 32 years and I don't understand why I would change it. In this as with all things, I hate when people it doesn't affect have an opinion about what "I" should do.

Nerd Girl said...

I couldn't wait to change my last name. I went from an African name that started with "T" and has 8 letters to an American name that starts with "B" and has 6 letters. I made a come up! Yeah, I'm silly. But I'm serious.

I don't think I ever considered not changing my name - even though I think that my name now is the most awkward sounding name ever. I wanted everyone under our roof to have the same last name.

And like K.Rock, I'll always be a "T!"

Do you. Like I ever thought you wouldn't...

SimplyB said...

I've never given much thought to not changing my name. I do feel that if we are becoming a new family then we should have the same last name. I also believe that family trumps professional all day.

Now one thing I was interested in is dropping my middle and replacing it with my maiden but my S/O shut that down! LOL If we get married I will be dropping my maiden and I am kind of excited.

ShaBoogiesince1982 said...

It took TWO years to change my name. First, I had no plans on dropping my last name, so I hyphenated. But, not legally - ha! Just at the RMV ... Hubby HATED that I hyphenated and more so disliked that I wouldn't drop my last name and take his (old southern man..)

This year I finally took his name and I don't feel as emotional about it as I made the process out to be. Was it a pain in the @ss? Yes! But, we are ONE. Seeing it doesn't even pull at my heart strings anymore because I'm still ME. *cue violins*

mrstdj said...

My husband didn't care what I did, so I legally changed my name to simply add my married name (no hyphen). The only place that really lists both is FB and I use my initials in blogging. For work, I still use my maiden and in everything business (and especially related to my son), I use only my married name. Everyone's needs and feelings are different. Good luck in making it work for you.

Sparkling Red said...

It's a tough call. Here is my name change story: Born with last name A. Adopted by step-dad at age 8 and changed to last name B. Married first husband; changed to last name C. Divorced first husband; changed to last name AB (a mix of my first two last names, to honour both my dads). Married Ken. No name change. I'm done. He understands and agrees that if he wants our last names to match, he'll be the one that changes his. (I'm not sure that he'll ever get around to it, but either way is fine by me.)

GorgeousPuddin said...

I guess I'm a teen novel too because I've had the last names of my crushes and bf. LOL! I think it depends on the last name for me. If his last name is just unbearably ugly I may just keep mine or hyphenate but it all depends. I may be so enthralled with his ugly last name self that I rush down and change it. :) Who knows.

Pserendipity said...

I had the same angst over changing my last name. I think I might have even agonized over it on Facebook. Tim made it very clear that I was going to abide by his last name with no hyphen, and I was good with that. I wanted his last name (and for Aidan and I to have the same last name). But I was struggling with dropping my middle name and changing it to Wilson.

My uncle said "Who do you belong to now? You'll always be a Wilson, but your Daddy is giving you away. You belong to your husband and now the only Mrs. Wilson is your mother." And that was that.

I'm still not all the way accustomed to it, but now it doesn't bother me at all.

Mrs Count said...

Awww everybody is being so supportive of your angst. I'm not. Change your name. There, I settled it for you :) You're welcome!!!!

Newy said...

Hmmm well I changed my name professionally in some aspects.

My day job I go by my married name. I have not changed all of my documents yet (my travel card is still in my maiden name because I have been traveling for work alot and have not ordered a new card yet).

As a landlord, I go by my maiden name on official paperwork (didn't want to have to change all my paperwork to my house) but my DBA (doing business as) name is my married name.

As an actress and writer as well as Facebook and twitter - maiden name although status says "married".

I love my husband and love taking his name...it's just so complicated since I got married after I was firmly established. I just got married in September so I am still wading through the name change process.