The Name Game

I’m coming up on two years of marriage and have not gotten around to officially changing my name.  The truth of the matter is that I’m just not going to do it.

I said this to Mark one day and he replied “but you love me and we’re a family, so why don’t you take my name?”  To which I replied “but you love me and we’re a family, so why don’t you take MY name?”  The conversation ended there, because Hubs knows I don’t tolerate inequality.

When I was a kid I watched My Girl 2, and distinctly remember a scene in which Vada complains about women changing their names because she is unable to find a high school classmate of her mothers.  She declares that it would be easier to find people when you needed them.  That made a lot of sense to my youthful brain, and this is when I decided that taking someone else’s name was kind of silly.

I maintained this straight through meeting Mark.  When the time came and we sat in the marriage licensing office, they asked me, would I be taking his name, or hyphenating?  I always thought I would hyphenate, but I thought that was a lot of writing every time I had to sign my name.  I mean, I don’t even do the last three letters of my name, it’s just a scrawl.  So, I decided I would wait until later to change it.

Well, later came and went and it never happened and never will.  I feel like changing your name isn’t for me for a variety of reasons.

  1. I aspire to be a writer, and so far, I’ve been using my given name, and would like to continue to do so.
  2. I don’t like the patriarchal setup where a woman goes through the agony of childbirth but the kid ends up with the man’s name.  Or the inequality of it in marriage, as previously mentioned. I’m just too much of a feminist for this.
  3. My ancestors bore that name and brought it across the ocean, so of course I feel connected to my family and past through it.  And finally…
  4. What if we got divorced?  I mean God forbid, but then I’d have to go and change it again?  What a waste of my time, all around.

Some women choose to take their partners name and that’s swell, but I really think it’s an important decision that every woman needs to think about.  I flip-flopped on it, resulting in a Facebook listing my married name and everything else listing my maiden.  In the end, for me, I don’t think I could change it.  I love my name…from my first, which is never spelled correctly, to my last, which is my fathers.  Fortunately, I have a loving and understanding husband who listens to me rage about the patriarchy and has no problem with me keeping my name.

I mean I assume.  It’s not like I asked permission.


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