Image from the movie Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann
“By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.”
Act 2, Scene 2 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
So, what’s in a name? For Romeo and Juliet, it was the entire reason that their love was forbidden. For me, it’s who I am!Before meeting Mr. Cookie I had a very strong mantra – I would not take my future husband’s last name, period! I like my first, middle, and last name. It’s me, it’s who I am, it’s my personality”¦ A new name means a new identity, a death to my former self. I want to hold tight to the person I have become, and letting go of my name means ending the journey of my current self. So, when Mr. Cookie asked me to take his last name, needless to say I had my hesitations.
Randomly one night the last name discussion was broached; would I consider taking Mr. Cookie’s last name? Now, he has a lovely last name, very easy to pronounce — no qualms about the name itself. We both listened to each other’s opinions ”“ mine of my own identity and Mr. Cookie’s of wanting to become a new family. I was facing an internal conundrum. I love Mr. Cookie with all my heart and soul, and what a deeply profound way of symbolizing the start of our journey through life together by changing my last name.
However, I still wanted to retain my identity. I’m at a point in my career where changing my name is not a big deal. And besides, isn’t being married about compromises? I heard in his voice how much it would mean to him, so a compromise was reached. I would indeed take his last name, but my maiden name would become my middle name.
Now, I’ve written and said my “new” name out loud several times just to get used to it, but it will take a little while to adjust. With two out of three of my married bridesmaids keeping their maiden name as their middle name, I’ve realized this has become a very common practice among women today.
Did you or do you plan to change your maiden name to your middle name when you get married?