Tuesday, February 14, 2006

the great name change debate

Since June, I have been asked the same question over and over again…"so, are you going to change your name?" My answer has pretty much always been "I don’t really know".

I know that for many of you out there, there isn’t a debate at all. You either will or you won’t (or you’ll hyphenate). You know what you would do if you were faced with the situation. You feel strongly one way or the other.

Here’s my problem: I don’t know that I do feel strongly about it at all. I honestly don’t know what my decision is going to be. I have considered just adding a name, but my current name barely fits on forms…adding ANOTHER name (and a 9 letter name at that) seems kind of silly.

Do I drop the last name I’ve always had and add a new one? This would make my first and last name combination just one letter off of the name on his sister’s birth certificate…

Do I just leave it as is? And if I do that, what to do if and when kids enter the picture?

The only thing I know for sure is that professionally and educationally, my name will remain the same- it is the name on my diploma and the name on the publications I have and will have…

It doesn’t seem fair that I have to think about such things while Jordan gets off with no thought about it at all…

So I’m opening it up to you folks…what do you think? What are/were your reasons for changing or staying the same? I’m mostly just curious as to what other people think. If all else fails, perhaps we’ll have a bowl-off.


Dr. Papa said...

A bowl-off! What a great idea. Or a lottery. Whoever wins gets to decide for you. Are there only 2 choices?

When your mum and I got married, we were going to change both our names to a hyphenated one. We never "got around to it." Then you were born and we decided to make one of your middle names the same as if we had done the hyphenated thing. Can you imagine trying to decide now whether to drop one of the hypenations and add another?

I think it is really important for you to do what feels best for you. Some people will always call you by your present last name. When you go out professionally with Jordan, you will be Mrs. Jordan. If you get to where you want to be, whenever he goes out with you into your professional arena, he'll be Mr. Kristen.

Your aunt didn't hyphenate, but added Tim's last name and now she still goes by both.

I know lots who hyphenated when they got married (around the time your mum and I did) and they have dropped the maiden name.

It comes down to what is important to you and what feels right. You won't be insulting me if you do or don't drop your present last name or add Jordan's. I have always wanted you to be your own person. It looks like that's a goal that you have achieved for me.

Thanks! You'll do what you need to do!

thephoenixnyc said...

I am a proponent of changing the name. Ist part of subsuming oneself into a single entity.

kdhill said...

I prefer the usually unexplored option that best represents, IMO, what is actually happening in the marriage - combine them. You become one yet retain part of your individual identity.

The benefits are plentiful:
> doesn't seem patriarchal or defiant
>the guy doesn't get off the hook
>no pesky hyphens
>both families are honoured (and potentially annoyed)
>everyone's confused


Or just use the letters to create an entirely new name:

Jordan and Kristen Outsmartgod

The possibilities are endless.

Hez said...

I would add it... I consider myself "special" because I have four names instead of just boring ole three. Imagine having five? How cool! (Mind you aren't I always trying to find things to make me "special"?)

OR, like you suggested, go by your own in for school, work etc, and then whenever you feel like it, throw his name in there for fun. At a church function, when you're making appointments, on your police record to name a few of such situations.

But in all seriousness, what I would think about it whether or not you want the same name as your kids, and if you do, what name would that be... For me, I definitely want the same name as my kids, so if I take the husband's name, then the kids will have that one, if I keep my own, then sorry dude the kids get that one too.

But that's just me.

lu said...

ah, the great name debate.

as you can imagine i will stick with my own, but i think that is more because i have adopted my rather unique last name as part of my identity. my mom raised two kids with the same name as her and two kids with a different last name and it is something i have always thought about so if i don't have answer for you, you can know that i am pondering the same things.

you could always pull the spanish thing and add his name to yours, then give your kids both and then any females drop your name and add their husband's but all male children keep both your names... sounds confusing but might work.

you could even spanish-ify your names to something like moltenez and tronsgardamente!

--Nathan-- said...

i agree with the morph name. i especially enjoy the thought of refering to you two as the Moltgards. another suggestion is to go the way of Madonna or Cher, just lose the last name all together.