A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Name

I'm not changing it. I don't want to.

But here's the kicker. Fi's last name was in the news many years ago. It is a name that is recognizable for a newsworthy event. A not so flattering newsworthy event.

That is not the reason I am not changing my name. I am not changing it for a variety of reasons. However, here is the common scenario:

Person: Are you changing your name?

Me: Nope.

Person: What is you fiance's last name?

Me: Newsworthy last name.

Person: Oh, No wonder you aren't changing it!

Me: No, no, that's NOT why.

Person: (dumb look about them)

Me: I'm not changing it due to the fact that I have earned my degree with MY name and because my first name is Jennifer and if you ever had to sit in 7th grade biology as one of 8 Jennifers you'd understand that my last name is my defining name and because I am a feminist (sort of) and I decided in 6th grade not to change my name and I 've been published and I was once ranked as a Scrabble player and even as an adult I work with two other Jennifers and its a hassle and................

Trust me, my decision has nothing to do with his name. It hurts me that most people assume I am not changing it because I am shallow. If I was that shallow, would I even be marrying him?

If we have a family our children will take his name, the dogs will take mine. I am not opposed to his name in any fashion. I just am not going to change mine.

Fi is cool with it, his parents are cool with it (not that if they weren't I would care), my parents are honored by it. But I hate having to justify my decision to people. I want to pull out my diary I wrote in from 1988-1990 and show them my decision as a child to keep my name. I want to show them the school papers in which I changed my middle name to my mom's maiden name so I could be hyphenated and honor my mom. I want them to see that this decision was made before I met my man.

Sometimes I think about changing my name, just to show the world I am not shallow, that I am not embarrassed. But then I remember: I'm not changing it. I don't want to.


Linda said...

Good for you. I decided to change my name when I was a kid. My maiden name is hard to pronounce and my new name is easy to spell and pronounce. It was entirely my decision. DH had no problems one way or the other.

Ellie said...

I love when women don't change their name. We're actually one of the few cultures that do it as a rule. I wouldn't have changed mine, but I'm actually trying to "shed" any attachment I had to my family for personal reasons.

Anyway, I think your reasons are awesome, not that you needed any.

Anonymous said...

Good one! I'm thinking the same thing - there are so many things I've accomplished with my last name on it and I like my last name a lot. Way to go, you.

Dana said...

I am having a debate within myself if I am changing my name or not. My future groom thinks that this is going to be an automatic thing. I am conflicted due to my professions and also sometimes is makes me feel like a lost of independence. I have several months to think about it though.

Jessica Ralph said...

Just came across this post of yours. It was great...total comic relief!! Good for you :)

Monica Surfaro Spigelman said...

for the first 20 years I held to maiden name only. Then worked for company where I was known by married name (and everyone thought I was jewish). Then spent a few years wondering if we should put my maiden name as my son's middle name (as they do in Mexico?). Didn't do it. 36 years into the marriage I am comfortable using a combo of both (not hyphenated), although I am a surfaro through and through, even leigh knows that.

Cody said...

My reasons pretty much boil down to "I don't want to."

I don't understand why so many people demand a reason. I think I've finally gotten past the stage of having to explain my vegetarianism at every family function... now it looks like I have something new to answer to.

Anonymous said...

This decision was soooo hard. I ultimately have decided to have two middle names...so my "real" name is there legally and I know it's there. I think it's great that you are keeping your name and everyone is cool with it...when I said I wanted to hyphenate, the only one who freaked was MY mom, weird, huh?