Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mrs. You...or Mrs. Me-You???

In keeping with the spirit of this wedding talk we've been having on here let's keep it going with this: the name change.

A co-worker is getting married in a little over a week and when she came by my department today, I asked if she was going to hyphenate her name or just take on her soon-to-be husband's last name. She said she'll be taking his name and after a longer conversation (which isn't at all relevant to this topic but was hilarious nonetheless), went back to her own work - the conversation, however, continued in my office. Here are the responses:

Miss BB: I'm taking my husband's last name. It's not even a discussion for me. But if for some reason I'm super famous and they only know me by [insert gov't name], I'll keep it in the public eye to cut down on confusion.

Fiesty: I don't know about dropping my last name and I don't want to hyphenate it. I really like my name as is and I'd have a problem just changing it. I guess it would become more important after we have kids.

Dubb (she's already married): I hyphenated my name because if I didn't, they couldn't call me [insert various nicknames that include her maiden name].
She may have only been partially joking but it was funny.

KayKay: Eh, I'd probably change my name in but I'd keep my maiden name in my career world.

Call me old-fashioned and perhaps a bit naive, but I really didn't know women discussed the idea of NOT taking their future husband's last name until a couple of years ago when I was reading a message board. Many of the women were adamant about not taking on their husband's name because they wanted to "keep their identity" and not get lost in his name. Miss BB Note: I frequent 2-3 boards and I'm not talking about either of them. The men who responded questioned why the woman who has agreed to marry him will not agree to taking his last name. Some of those men went as far to say it would be a total deal breaker if the woman didn't agree to. at the very least, hyphenating her name. I guess it's THAT'S serious.

The ladies of my department reached out to our former co-worker, Chief, to get his thoughts and his response is: "It depends if she's career minded or tryin to accomplish something where she's recognized by her name; it's cool, I can accept that. However in general I would like for my wife to take my last name, but it's nothing to fight about." I'm surprised Chief would say it's "nothing to fight about" because he's quite traditional and THIS is probably one of the upper echelon traditional things in relationships. When I told Fiesty about the conversation on the msgboard and how some of the men saw it as a deal breaker if the woman wouldn't consider taking his name at all, she said she could understand why.

I believe it's a personal decision (my girl Lucky has had her own reason for wanting to keep her last name) and that whatever makes you both comfortable is what you should rock with. But at the same time, I'm like "Why not take his name?"

What's say you? Let's discuss!


Lynette said...

I wont drop my last name .Its as much a part of me as my married name

Meechie said...

great write D!!! I would only hyphenate my name. My family (The Morgan's) are a very strong family and I take a lot of pride in being a Morgan. Also I am my father's only Daughter and that name won't be passed on. So my way of holding on to it is by keeping my last name. It's about the pride that I have in my family and I want my future children to know that.

Kenda said...

I'm kinda torn on the subject. I think I would be a hyphente. Not taking my future husband's last name isn't an option for me though.

LovinMe4Me said...

I'll take my husband's last name. Although I'm proud of my maiden name and will always be a (insert maiden name here), I will be honored to take my hubby's name.


Anonymous said...

Recently married myself I knew not taking my husband's last name was not an option. Although in the end he tried to pretend it didn't matter and hyphenating would be ok I knew he was a traditionalist and secretly I was a traditionalist too.

But the day I went to obtain my marriage certificate and it started out a happy occassion I ain't going lie I was secretly feeling blue. Loosing your last name is such a part of your identity. Its who you have been for so long. Giving it up was almost like loosing my best friend. Almost 4 weeks married and I still use my maiden name, have yet to get it changed on documents (cause its such a lengthy process), refuse to use my new name at work and still don't sign my new last name. Its going to take some time to sink in. But when I think about it, changing your last name is symbolic to the new you and the new life you are suppose to be taking on with your partner. I almost feel like me not wanting to make the change is me not wanting to give up control and when married you are partly giving up control and releasing self absorption. Aye! No one said it would be this hard to be a grown up. :(