I like to think that as far as brides go, I’m pretty easy-going. However, there is one wedding-related thing that is causing me a lot of agita. To those of you who were able to make this decision without much stress, I envy you so much. It’s one of those questions that doesn’t have one particular right answer, just a lot of choices that may or may not be right for me.
Bees, what the heck do I do with my last name? Just thinking about it makes me freak out a little.
Screencap via SodaHead
I understand the tradition here in the US is to take your husband’s last name. Frankly, the history behind the tradition makes me a little uncomfortable—I’m an independent woman, not chattel, etc. At the same time, wouldn’t it be nice if Stallion and I, as our own family unit, shared a common name? I don’t know. Hence this post.
Here’s the thing: I like my name. I’ve had it for 25 years; it fits me well. It sounds good with my first name, it’s easy to spell, and people constantly call me by my last name or by my initials. I have two sisters; assuming we all get married and change our names, we have no one left to carry on the family name. I never understood how your name could feel like a part of your identity until I had to consider the possibility of giving it up.
Stallion’s last name is longer, clunkier, and harder to spell than my last name. It doesn’t flow as well with my first name. Not to mention all the headaches involved with a name change—administrative red tape, financial costs, a new signature, a new email address…you guys, the agita is starting up again.
A lot of the more modern (and frankly, awesome) last name options aren’t a good fit for us. Stallion is in academia; he’s got a pretty good publishing history, and his name carries weight in his field. So the options that I was more comfortable with, like us creating a new last name, are off the table. Whereas I am a nobody from nowhere and everyone at work knows who I am anyway, so changing my name won’t make any difference for me professionally. That said, I know plenty of successful, kick-ass women who changed their names, and just as many successful, kick-ass women who chose to keep their names.
As far as I can tell, here are my options:
So now I’m right back where I started at the beginning of this post—clueless and frustrated with my cluelessness.
GIF via Hollywood
Here’s the thing. I don’t think there is a wrong solution to this dilemma—everyone should do what feels right to them. Problem is, I don’t know what’s right for me. Thankfully, I still have some time to get it figured out.
How did you solve the name conundrum? Was it even a conundrum for you? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? (Yes.)