My last name is very unique. It’s also very difficult to spell, pronounce, or try to teach someone said spelling and pronunciation. “D as in David…E as in elephant…” Growing up, I couldn’t stand my eccentric seven-letter last name because even *I* couldn’t spell the damn thing at first! It’s even got a crazy accent on it! When said in its true French pronunciation it sounds absolutely lovely, but unless I decide to defect to Canada or France it really does me no good here. I always used to say that when I got married, I would be ditching my last name in favor of a married name. However, the closer I got to marriage the more sentimental my last name became.
It’s the only last name I’ve ever had. It’s the last name of my father, my uncle, their parents, and many other great aunts, uncles, and extended relatives. For our little family unit, though, my sister, one female cousin, one male cousin, and I are the only ones that are able to take our name forward. That is technically only one person (my male cousin) in my family that will conceivably keep our family name going after our generation. My sister (who got married last year) hyphenated our name with her husband’s last name, so a piece of that will continue on with her. M’s last name is fairly common in our region (it’s a very Portuguese last name!) and easy to pronounce and spell. (BONUS: Taking Mr. Jet’s last name pushes me to the beginning of the alphabet AND makes my name an alliteration—how cool?!) I’ve thought long and hard about what I should do, and with only four-plus months left, I keep going around in circles. Maybe it’ll help to see it all on paper…let’s see, shall we?
Here are the scenarios I’ve thought up:
- “The Feminist” (FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME MAIDENNAME) – Keep my name entirely.
- “The KEEP ALL THE NAMES!” (FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME MAIDENNAME MARRIEDNAME) – Add my current last name as a second middle name.
- “The Ol’ Switcheroo” (FIRSTNAME MAIDENNAME MARRIEDNAME) – Ditch my middle name (which I happen to really love) and move my current last name into that spot.
- “The Fancy Law Firm” (FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME MAIDENNAME-MARRIEDNAME) – Keep my middle name and hyphenate two last names.
- “The Fresh Start” (FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME MARRIEDNAME) – Drop my maiden name entirely.
I think I’ve narrowed it down to “The Ol’Switcheroo” and “The Fresh Start”—but I’m not 100% sure yet. I love the idea of taking Mr. Jet’s last name and creating our little family unit. I’m just not sure I can let go of that horribly burdensome last name I’ve known for 29 years. Hmm…