I had a lot of objections and misgivings that I had to work through before putting the marriage discussion on the table with Mr. Road Trip. The idea of changing my name was one I contemplated early on.
Looking back, I’m not surprised that my heroine of choice during my pre-teen and beyond years was Scarlett O’Hara (Hamilton Kennedy Butler).
I used to think it was the whole star-crossed love story between her and Ashley (which I now realize to be a ludicrous thing to want), but now I know that her penchant for collecting last names was foreshadowing my own future.
Still, she did end up with the right man on her third time around…
Taking my first husband’s name was a no-brainer. It was, after all, what was done. After having my maiden name picked on in school (it happens to be a fairly well-known name but, unfortunately, we weren’t related to any of the famous ones), I was glad to be rid of it and, hey, I moved from the middle of the alphabet all the way to the very front. Bonus!
Of course, even though we thought it was fairly straightforward, spelling-wise, it was frequently butchered with extra d’s, t’s, e’s, and I forget what else. So when I got married the second time I welcomed a very normal last name that just about anyone could figure out how to spell.
Sure, it might as well be Jane Doe as far as plainness goes, but, again, it just made sense to change it. I certainly had no desire to keep my first husband’s name.
All of this, you understand, was before the internet really took off. Oh sure, it was around (I met my second ex online, after all), but things were, honestly, different back in 2002. While I did buy my first domain in 2003, it wasn’t tied to my legal name other than on the registration. There was MySpace around at that time, but Facebook hadn’t taken off. Screennames were de rigueur.
But now is a different story. There are all the accounts I now have open in my second official alias (did you know that when you apply for a passport you list your maiden and any other names under aliases?): credit cards, taxes, registrations, and all sorts of things. And, yes, I own [mynameonline].com.
I live my life 80% online; at least it feels that way. Between online banking, shopping, websites—my own and others that I interact on—I couldn’t even tell you how many places I’d have to go to update my identity.
And, yet, I’m thinking about it. Thinking very much that I will.
Because, at the end of the day, I don’t want my ex’s name hanging around after making that commitment to Mr. Road Trip. I opted to keep my new name after the divorce because it was easier. All my current friends knew me by it, and it was just simpler not to have to get used to another identity. Plus, I didn’t feel like the girl I was before I married, so going back to my maiden name almost seemed like regressing.
Changing your name may or may not be an issue for your situation; it is something only you can decide. After thinking about it, though, I think it was just an excuse. Especially now that I know about sites like MissNowMrs.com that exist to aid (and speed up) the change-the-name-game process that was part of my objection.
Now I’m just debating which name/initial to keep for my middle!
Was changing your name (again) a major issue for you or was it an easy decision?