The name-change game has already been discussed by several bees, but I would like to throw in my two cents!
To be honest, I never thought about changing my name. I never wrote “Mrs. [insert name of crush]” all over my notebooks. My name is my own and I never entertained the idea of losing it for any reason. To me, it would be like losing a part of myself, like losing my family. I will admit that I’m not even particularly fond of my last name—it’s one of those stereotypical, super-long Spanish last names that ends in Z and is a pain in the ass to spell. On the other hand, Mr. B’s name is short and sweet and perfectly French. It would be soooo much easier having his name, but that’s never been an option. Why?
Well, in Québec, you’re actually not allowed! GASP. Whaaaaaat? Yup. Civil Code, article 393:
In marriage, both spouses retain their respective names, and exercise their respective civil rights under those names.
BAM! Lawyered! There is a super complicated legal procedure to circumvent this, but it’s costly, and most of the time it doesn’t work. The reason for this law was allegedly to maintain a woman’s identity and also to avoid situations of marriage, divorce, remarriage, etc. where a person goes through five different names in a lifetime. And while I personally agree that a name should be somewhat permanent and not linked to marital status (after all, half of marriages sadly end up in divorce), I also don’t think the government should forbid women from taking their husband’s name if they want to!
Some women are most concerned about having the same name as their children. Like Mrs. Toadstool, I grew up with a different set of rules. In the Spanish tradition, a person has two last names, the first being traditionally the father’s, followed by the mother’s. Each person carries both of their parents’ last names, and when they have children the child’s last names are composed by the first last name of each parent. So, for instance, I’m:
Miss Waterfall Middle Name Papi Waterfall’s (first) Last Name Mami Waterfall’s (first) Last Name
My children would be:
Hypothetical Future Child Mr. Waterfall’s Last Name Miss Waterfall’s Last Name and so on and so forth. (If you’re confused, go on over to Mrs. Toadstool’s post—she explains it much better, and even has an adorable little diagram to go along with it.)
I actually really like this system because I believe a child is made of equal parts from each parent, and that includes the names. Sadly, over years of living in Canada, having a first name, a middle name, and two sets of last names was really cumbersome because nobody else had that many names. I always run out of space on government forms whenever I have to enter my full name! Over time, I started going by my middle name and only use my full last name on official government documents.
What about our future children? Well, Mr. Waterfall and I have decided that they will only have his last name because, frankly, his French name and my Spanish name don’t go together at all. And sure, it bums me out a little that they won’t have any part of my last name, but it will make their lives so much easier.
What were your reasons for keeping or changing your name?