Name Changing

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, and an interesting topic started brewing in the comments of this post: Did you/Are you going to change your last name when you get married? I did not. This is nothing new, really. I've gotten into separate fights with both of my parents over my unwillingness to change my last name when I got married (and that was before I even met A.P.). And maybe part of me always thought that when it actually came down to it, I would change my name. But I didn't. And I have some good reasons and some not so good reasons for doing this.

Start with the good:

I feel like I am my own person, and I have a very strong identity that, over the past 30 years, has been growing with my last name. I am not this new person with this new last name, and I wouldn't even know where to begin in constructing an identity around A.P.'s last name. I don't know if that makes sense, but my mind was blown over the possibility of becoming this new person.

I also have this weird thing about being my father's daughter. I would never tell my father this (especially having argued with him in the past over this issue), but part of the reason I kept my name was because of him. I am the youngest of five, and by a long shot. Meaning my father is no spring chicken. While most of my friends have parents in their 50s/early 60s, my mother is 72 and my father will be 81 in less than a month. I have only one other friend with this type of situation and it's because her father was married before. Anyway, ever since I can remember I was worried that my father would die before I got married. As you saw in the pictures, that turned out not to be an issue. But the new issue is whether or not he will meet our children one day. And since there is always a strong chance he won't, despite his good health, I felt obligated to keep my father's last name, rather than take on my new husband's. Plus, my father was actually this very famous athlete, and I feel like if I give up my last name, I give up that history, too. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel like there is a pride in keeping my father's name.

Now for the not so good reasons:

I am insanely lazy. The thought of filling out paperwork, changing loans, credit cards, bills, getting a new driver's license, etc. made my head spin. It seemed like a huge pain in the ass for something I wasn't even sure I wanted.

I feel like if the situation were reversed we wouldn't even be having this conversation. I can't imagine men would change their names as easily as women do. Which I told A.P....many times.

Despite a lifetime of growing up hating my last name, which can be made fun of so easily (I can't remember if I've ever said this before, but my name isn't really Marty J Christopher...it's a pseudonym/joke name I blog under...in other words, Christopher is NOT the name that I kept, and NOT the name that can be made fun of so easily), I hate the blandness of A.P.'s last name. It's so...all American, and that is the last thing I've felt my whole life.

Plus I accidentally Googled what my name would have been if I'd changed it. How do you accidentally Google something you ask? Well, I was actually going to Google myself and since A.P. and I share the same last name initial, Google suggested I search for this girl who has my exact name (and spelling!) if I had changed my name and taken A.P.'s name. And what turned up you ask? Just this crazy friend of Miley Cyrus who parties all the time and is like a young Lindsay Lohan. In other words, so not me.

I don't know if I made the right decision or not. It has occurred to me that when we have children one day, I will not have the same last name as them. But I hope that's more of an inspiration than a bad thing. I hope that my children learn that I am a strong person, who is independent, and that I made sure I was fully formed and knew who I was and what I wanted in life before I got married.

My other hope? That I don't ever regret my decision, try to change my name and find out I can't...like this blogger. Yikes! Talk about a bureaucratic nightmare.

So...did you/are you going to change your last name? After reading the comments out there, I feel like I'm in the minority, but I'd love to hear what people have to say.


  1. I've just written about this too.

    Still in discussions with my Bean but I do hope we take each other's name.

  2. I wish I could convince A.P. to do that, but alas, I know it will never happen. Right now I'm working on convincing him to work my name into our future bebe's name. As a middle name perhaps? Or an additional last name? Though I do feel like hyphenated names are so cruel to the poor unfortunate children. I just always think, "That's a lot of bubbling on tests and filling in on applications!" : O )


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