Friday, July 20, 2007

this whole name changing thing..

is kind of sad really. thank the goddess i'm not ditching my last name altogether. in an instant, i've become one of those people. you know, one of those people with a hyphenated last name. i think my eyes just rolled at myself.

yet, all the time, people just dump their last names and use new ones. seriously. girls all over the world do it everyday. and probably don't even think twice about it. why is that?! not really why don't they think twice about it, but why is it so hard for me? how come to so many other people it's no big deal at all to take on a new name? why is it such a big deal for me?

maybe part of it is because i love my name. it's who i am. i identify with it. (dur, i know). but it's the only name i've ever known. and IT'S MEEEEEEEEEEE! it's MY name. i am jenn lastname. and now i am jenn lastname-newlastname. it's just weird. it's just different. and will i ever really introduce myself to people as jenn lastname-newlastname? cause that just seems even weirder. honestly. i feel like i'll always just be jenn lastname. i mean, that's who i am dammit. and i earned it. i've made that name what it is. which is nothing really, but it's still me. and maybe that's just it. maybe i feel that by changing my last name, i'm losing a part of who i am. or who i am is changing. and i like who i am. and i'm not always good with change.

i know this is ridiculous i'm sure. i know i must sound like an idiot, but i just left the social security office to add the new last name onto the old last name and i'm just a little sad about it is all. and it's not like men can relate. they don't have to ditch their identities when they get married. so they have no idea what it feels like to suddenly have to take on this new name.

i don't know. did you change your last name? did you even care? would you change your last name? would you not change? would you hyphenate?

25 comments:

Alison said...

I was happy to change my last name. Not that my previous one was strange or anything, I just liked the new one better. And, I was excited to take the hubby's name.

There is nothing wrong with leaving your last name alone or hyphenating it. In fact, for Blake's sake, I think it's nice that you're keeping your original last name. It is something that you and he will always share.

Don't be sad. I love Chris, but to me and my family you'll always be Jenny LastName. :) That's right, JennY.

Amy said...

It wasn't an easy or simple decision for me to make, either. I posted about that very thing just after I got married last year (http://www.assertagirl.com/?p=152 if you're interested).

In the end I took my husband's name. I've adapted to it, and I even like it. But I do sort of miss my old name.

mothergoosemouse said...

I changed my last name, but kept my maiden name as my middle name. It actually wouldn't have been too unwieldy to hyphenate, but I was glad to change to a shorter, easier-to-spell name.

Sometimes the name change is just a ba-a-ad idea. I once dated a guy whose last name was Jewell. I don't think I could have taken his name.

Chase said...

I'm taking Tango's last name and ditching mine completely. And it's not that he has that great of a last name...it'll be one that I have to constantly spell to people on the phone. "Z....no, not C...Z. No, Z as in zebra. Yeah."

Great.

But I don't have any problem losing my last name. The way I think of it is that I'm going to be his family now and our future kids will have our family name. You keeping your name is great for you - especially with Blake involved.

I don't think I'll lose any of my identity with losing my last name. I've never actually put that much thought into it.

But it sure will be strange to sign my new name. And I thought changing the '06 to '07 at the beginning of the year was hard.

mayberry said...

I did find it hard. I actually wrote a post about it!

http://mayberrymom.blogspot.com/2006/06/whats-in-name.html

Kristin said...

I am legally hyphenated, but it took me well over a year to even identify with my "new" last name, let alone use it... I was freelancing when we got married and if I had changed my name I would have never seen a job in what was my strong word-of-mouth industry...

We've been married for 12 years and I still don't use my married name exclusively.

Karianna said...

I thought that I would keep my own name professionally but take his socially. I soon realized I had to keep mine no matter what.

His name just felt WRONG when attached to my name, and my identity. (I had been published well before marriage, so at the least I would have had to hyphenate.)

Sure, people address me as Mrs. HisLastName, and sometimes it angers me (if it is my sister-in-law who knows darn well I kept my own name), but I know it is an "honest" mistake.

What I don't like is constantly getting mail addressed to "Mrs. HisName HisLastName" as if I no longer have a first name either.

carrie said...

I took my husband's name when we were married (both of our last names are incredibly long, I didn't even consider hyphenating because that would've been a total nightmare) but I will always be Carrie Maidemname inside.

Carrie

Christy said...

It's funny - growing up I couldn't wait to get married and lose my last name. I never really liked it. Fast forward to today - my last name is a part of me & I have no desire to change it.

Some people seem entirely shocked when I tell them I didn't take my husbands last name, especially his family. I've even been told that "I have to!"... I think not!

My choosing to keep my maiden name is in no way reflective of how I feel about my husband. It's just a part of me that I choose to keep. Then there is always the fact that his last name is incredibly long and at the end of the alphabet where mine is short, sweet & at the front! A definate plus while in school! :)

dcrmom said...

Maybe it's easier when you are younger? I hated my last name and was glad to change. But I also wanted us to have the same last name, and our kids would have it. I would never hyphenate. My first name is hyphenated, and it's such a PITA!

I think in your situation, with Blake, that hyphenating and then using whichever is most convenient at the time is best.

Gidge said...

I changed my last name because of the symbolism, because it's traditional and it means you are leaving your family and joining HIS family and it's intentional. You are starting a new family, and it's last name is X.
I liked my last name, maiden name that is - I had a whole alliteration thing going on.

But, it meant a lot to the husband, taking his name. I was actually surprised how much it meant to him.

So, Now I've been that person for almost 5 years. I am used to it now.

Elizabeth said...

My parents had friends who, when they got married, both took the new hyphenated name. So he was Bill HerLastName-HisLastName, and she was Sue HerLastName-HisLastName. Think your hubby would go for that?

kerflop said...

I was happy to change mine, too. I don't know, it sort of felt like I was leaving behind the old, awkward me, and embracing the new, grown up me.

Of course, I'm still all awkward, but it just felt like turning over a new leaf.

Stephanie A. said...

I really wanted to hyphenate, but my maiden name is Moore. Moore-Axe sounds like More Ass and because I have no ass, I can't live up to the name. So that was that.

I changed my name after MUCH deliberation (and trying it out while we were engaged) and in all honesty, even in all of my staunch feminism, I've never looked back. I like that we've developed the term TeamAxe for when we're pulling together and hope to pass that along to Hugo, too.

Give it time. Those early weeks can be odd because you've got this new name and are now a "wife" instead of gf. One day it will all feel like "you" again.

m said...

I was happy to change my last name, but only because it wasn't such a good one! Several people still call me by my maiden name, which is fine with me. When I hear it, I am caught off guard at first, especially if I haven't heard it for awhile.

I totally get what your saying though, about it being you! I went through that too. It was hard to hear myself referred to as someone else. Even after 2 years, I frequently write my maiden name on checks by accident and I have even introduced myself to people using my "old" name! After 30 years of it, it's a hard habit to break!!

My mom hyphenated her last name after she remarried. She did it for her daughters because she still wanted to be "connected" to us in that way, if that makes sense.

There are so many women that don't change their name at all. My sister didn't, but said she will when/if she has children.

Becky said...

i loved changing my name! it was so fun for me! dont be sad jenn. youre so not losing who you are. and since you hyphenated it...its still there:) xo

Mike said...

My cousin's wife wanted to keep her last name, so instead of hyphenating it, she dropped her middle name and made her maiden
name her middle name.

Anonymous said...

After a lot of thought, I just added my husband's last name to my own. Because my daughter had the same last name as me -- both had my maiden name -- I didn't want to let go of that and have her feel "left out." My husband adopted her last year, and we both use the new last name now.

JayMonster said...

My wife did it in "stages." At first she did the whole, lastname-newlastname, except at work where she was still just lastname.

Then she eventually grew tired of it (the length of writing it out I think), and later changed it over to just newlastname.

Momma to LG said...

I changed mine mainly because I knew when we had kids I wanted to all have the same name. I have friends who have done the maiden name to middle name thing. We also have friends who are both HerName-HisName.

I do think that it depends how old you are when you marry and if you are an author/dr., etc.

I will also be Lia MaidenName to my friends and myself though!

Piece of Work said...

I didn't change my name, for the same reasons you state. I have always been Amy lastname and it felt weird to just change it like that. I was 28 when I got married so I'd had that name for a long time, and I liked who I was with it. WE have kids now, and they use my husbands name. My mother in law HATES it and thinks it is confusing to the kids but if you ask them, they don't think it's weird at all.

Jenn said...

You are obviously NOT an Italian girl with a 7 letter hard to pronounce last name who married an Italian boy with an 11 letter hard to pronounce last name.

Cause yea, I'm pretty sure that a 19 character (including hyphen) last name wouldn't fit on my drivers licence. LOL

CAT said...

I changed mine without batting an eye. I didnt hate my last name before, but I liked the idea of sharing my husbands name. I liked that it made us a shared lastname family. Since Ryan's dad isn't in the picture, when he started school he wanted to use our lastname as well. Thats who he is now too. My old last name was too common anyways! (Clark)

Starshine said...

This is a tough decision and one that is personal for everyone. I decided to take my husband's last name and I'm making my maidenname my middle name. But even that feels a little weird. I'm not terribly attached to my middle name, but still, it's weird to ditch it.

My main thought was that when we have children, I want us all to have the same last name. But the truth is that family unity is much more about the bonds of love and much less about sharing a name.

I guess that I just think a woman should do what she feels the most comfortable with.

Great post.

DDM said...

I changed my last name. I wanted to cut the final ties to my biological Father, and had NO connection to my birth name at all. I was happy to take my husband's last name. The only time I regret it is when I introduce myself to someone new and they give me the "Ooooh!" face, because then I know which Uncle of my husband's they've had the most exposure to, lol.