Friday, May 6, 2011

say my name say my name

The topic of name-changing has been pretty ferociously debated (also, I can't believe that entry's from a year ago), as it's a pretty personal one. I've known for a long time that I didn't want to be the only one to change my name when I got married, but I've ALWAYS known my name would change when that day came. Luckily, The Foliage has wanted to legally add his mother's last name to his for years, so that's what he'll be doing. And we'll both be doing all the paperwork and going through the hassle, which I love, but we're still going to have the same last name and be tied to our extended family. Perfect.

But one day, pretty soon after getting engaged, I was at my parents' house, and my father and I were talking. I mentioned how it was really hard for a lot of women (and in some cases not even an option) to change their last names. I couldn't even get to the part where I said I'd be taking my partner's family names before my dad started barking, "Just take his name! TAKE HIS NAME! IT'S NICE!" Which, you know, kind of took me aback.

My sisters and I are the last of the family with this last name. Well, that's not true. There's a brach we've never met who pronounce it wrong ('s so so wrong). So if none of us have/adopt kids and give them our current surname, it's completely done. Which has always felt so HUGE to me. And I thought my dad would have the same opinion. Buuuuut apparently I was wrong.

He said, "it's just a string of doesn't mean anything. That's all any name is." Which was weird. He can be a very unemotional guy sometimes. In any case, it kind of changed how I've looked at last names. They're just sounds. They used to exist to tell people where you were from or what you did. Now we're all from everywhere and hardly anyone has a family business to represent. I was already going to change my name, but that made it a little easier.

Also now I get to yell, "JUST CHANGE YOUR NAME. IT'S NICE." to my friends who are undecided. So that's fun.


Anonymous said...

Or... "JUST KEEP YOUR NAME! IT'S NICE!" Ya know, just sayin'. The "they're just syllables" argument could cut either way.

UseYourWords said...

Yeahhhhh I'm going to have to recommend having both options available to yell at undecided friends too. Personal choice! It's what feminism(TM) is for.

For me it's not about the hassle of paperwork so much as the tradition of ownership that taking a husband's name can represent (obviously not for you guys! Just in general). E and I will have to figure out something creative once children get involved, and I know my name is only half-true to my family (since my mom took my dad's name) - which is why it's supercool that T.F. is taking his mom's name too - but for now name-changing is not on my agenda. Not saying it's not nice, and I'm all for you doing what you want to do!

I also used to request that my students call me "Ms" instead of "Miss" or (accidentally) "Mrs." Never got why ladies are STILL addressed according to their marital status while the "Master" title for dudes disappeared loooong ago. So, I am that kind of person, in case you were wondering . . .

UseYourWords said...

Aaaaand round 2: Sorry if my last comment came off kind of judgy . . . sometimes my feminist hat squeezes my brain a little bit when I put it on. I'm glad you and T.F. found a good solution for both of you and that the fam is on board! That is what I meant to say?

ceejus said...

Ha! I did not feel judged or preached to, so don't worry about it.

I tend to like yelling "advice" that's the opposite of what people [obviously] want to do, so I'll definitely be switch-hitting with my suggestions. I also tell my friends to break up with their boyfriends/fiancees/husbands over things like bad puns and inconsequential opinions. So. It's just how I roll.

Basically, the things I say are hardly ever the things I mean. Sarcasm gets me in trouble sometimes.

un-owned wife said...

SO...I did not change my name. I didn't feel like I should do anything for the man that he wouldn't do for me. I like that you are both changing to something you'll share...that's cool. And I am NOT surprised that your father wanted you to change: your gender role (i.e. "the changer") obs trumps the "last ones with the name" thing.

You go "use your words"!!!

ceejus said...

Oh, sorry UYW. I totes thought I'd posted a "no you're cool!" response before. My b. I've led you astray!

I didn't feel judged. And I'm glad you're comfortable with your choice.

I swear I posted a really sarcastic response, like, a week ago. So weird...