Newlyweds: What's In A Name (month three)

Apr 1, 2015

For as far back as one can recall, I dreamed of the day I'd take my future husbands last name, doodling on notebooks, naming our imaginary children, and the like.

Once the time came for me to make the switch, I thought it'd be -- different. The act of changing one's name is no easy feat, and will test the fibers of your patience no matter how lackadaisical you may be. 

Name options are infinite; you could take his name, he yours, or, you can make up a name all your own.  Then there is the question of dropping your middle name to substitute your maiden or hyphenating. For me, I decided to take my husbands name legally, and keep my maiden name professionally.  

As fate would have it, his birthday was approaching, and thought it'd be the quintessential gift, especially considering I was in absolutely no hurry to make the switch (out of sheer procrastination) and recently noticed just how excited he was I'd be taking his name. 

Waiting in line to update my social security card then heading straight to get a new license proved to be painless and dare I utter, easy. High from my progress I made a list (of all the other items to update via name/beneficiary, etc) and life was grand until -- I called HR to update my legal name (for W2 purposes only) and was informed in doing so, it would automatically change my name, in every system we have. I'd be lying if I said the mere inconvenience of this news didn't rattle me, I'd been here ten years, my entire career was based under my maiden name, how could I just change it? No one had any idea who Mrs. Piper was, and I felt put off for those whom needed to contact me, grimacing at the thought of sending out a dreaded mass email to notify everyone. It was too much,  I was overwhelmed and nauseous at the thought. It wasn't until many a pity party and days later when HR kindly updated my information for me (I sent in my marriage license as part of protocol) without my knowledge sending me into a tailspin to reach out to all my professional contacts. Then it hit me. This wasn't about the inconvenience, I was more dependent on the fact I'd still hold my maiden in name in some capacity, and when that option was taken from me, the reaction was visceral. I've spent thirty two years as Marcia Ginger, and while I chose to take my husbands name, one can't help but feel as if a part of me was laid to rest forever.

Who knew something so seemingly trivial could elicit such emotion, and even more, how you (ok maybe just me), despite your best efforts to remain unchanged, continue to evolve for the future -- whatever your name may be.

 Newlywed thoughts, the first month

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1 comment:

  1. I was happy as a pig in mud to take the new last name. However, whenever I go back to my hometown (population 18 - only a slight exaggeration) I always refer to myself with my maiden name. Not a soul would know who I was if I threw them for a loop and used my married name (aside from my first name - which I am the only person in town with first name Desiree).


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