What’s in a name?

I was reading an article the other day about the name change dilemma a lot of women contemplate when they get married.  It struck me as interesting because The Boy and I were talking about how my decision to take his name has affected me.

Truthfully, other than the annoyance of having to get in contact with any financial institution I had previously been associated with, it really wasn’t that much of a headache.  Plus, I got a bump up in the line when it comes to going in alphabetically order.  Sweet!

The thing that is the strangest to me, though, is that, save 2 people, no-one in my current state of residence knows my maiden name.  And not many people back home would remember what my new name was, if it weren’t for FaceBook.

Now, I did actually KEEP my maiden name, at least in one form: it’s now one of my middle names.  In fact, for our last Christmas before we got married, The Boy bought me an awesome rolling bag and had what would be my new initials embroidered on it (trust me, though, no one could mistake this baggage as theirs and get away with it, even without the initials.)  My school email also uses them.

That isn’t to say I have much of a familial attachment to my maiden name.  Aside from my brother’s family and a few random cousins here and there (none of which actually HAVE the name), there just isn’t much there.  There’s my father too, but, well, he’s an ass.  My attachment is simply 30+ years of living with the name, spelling  it over (and over, and over, because evidently it’s difficult) and re-pronouncing it over (and over, and over.)  It kind of grew on me, so I decided I wanted it to hang around.

Some days though, I just miss my ‘z.’

About maggyruth

Mid-thirties, Mid-Atlantic transplant. Fiber-artist, hidden poet, health educator, student. Still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I swear sometimes. Especially when I'm mad. Deal with it. View all posts by maggyruth

8 responses to “What’s in a name?

  • Jess

    The changing of names intrigues me on so many levels. One thing I’ve thought about should I ever get married is whether or not I’d change my name, and it’s something I’ve thought about a lot. One aspect that intrigues me as a feminist is the notion that a woman’s maiden name is “her” name, but if you think about it, it’s her father’s name. And if she has her mother’s name, that name is really her maternal grandfather’s. It’s just interesting to me. I think I would probably keep mine, unless my future spouse had an even more unique name (I kind of like being only one of two people in the world with my name, lol).

    In the end, I think it’s up to the people in the marriage only. But I also don’t think either partner should demand that the other change their name, either, and men who are emasculated by the idea that some women don’t just take their husbands’ names (and they do exist) are ridiculous.

    • gritlysweettea

      I agree. The Boy and I had a similar discussion when we got married. He was fine with me keeping my maiden name, if that was what I wanted to do. I know plenty of people who have done so (and I know plenty of people who are at least mildly appalled at the idea…I’ve got a good range of folks.)

      In the end, I still have to tell people how to spell my name, because it ends with an ‘e’ when the typical spelling doesn’t. Bother. At least I moved up in line alphabetically.

  • TJ

    I don’t miss my married name …. it had way to many vowels in it and was impossible for people to spell. I took it because I thought that is what you were supposed to do when you got married. I reverted back to my maiden name right away after I got divorced even though I had a daughter. I asked her if it was okay that we had different last names and her (then 9 years old) reply was “sure, someday I’ll get married and have a different last name. You had a different last name before you got married. Who cares. ” 🙂

  • Danni

    Hello! I am from the lady bloggers social tea party. I just wanted to say hi, and tell you that it was not to long ago that I got married. I decided to change my last name due to the baggage that came with it. I love my new last name and like that it is not connected to anything bad. That was my reason for changing my last name. Hope you have a great day!

  • Sairy

    I could not WAIT to get rid of my maiden name. It has a silent letter in it and I too, was always spelling it, correcting people who said it wrong, now I still have issues because it’s another Italian-esque name, but at least no silent letters 😉

  • Jacki

    I got blasted by my ex-father-in-law after I kicked my ex-husband out for “never committing to the marriage” because I had elected to keep my name. And this was coming from a man from Iceland – where women keep their last names and if a heterosexual couple has a son and a daughter, all 4 members of the family would have a different last name. It really bothered me to think that people interpret a woman wanting to keep her name as “not being committed to her husband,” yet would never expect a man to even consider changing HIS name!

    Anyway, I love seeing other women’s perspectives on this. If I get married again I am planning to do something similar to what you did – I will bump my last name to middle position, eliminating my original middle name, to which I have no real attachment.

    • gritlysweettea

      I kept my original middle name (because, while I didn’t like it when I was younger, I grew to like it), but I know plenty of people who eliminate it all together.

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