I love how non-judgmental and kind your sweet commenting Bees are being! (Bee-ing? anyone? Bueller?) On a couple of the other name change boards here, there have been some bitchy buzzy bees, I’ll say that.
My mom changed her name when she married my dad, and my sister and I both have our dad’s last name. He isn’t very traditional, and really didn’t give a rat’s ass – he’s the kind of guy who would have just as happily changed his last name to her maiden name, except that Dadfirst Mommaiden happens to rhyme. They divorced when I was 4 and my sister was about 1, and she kept the same last name, partly because she *was* very worried about the whole different-last-name problems with school and traveling, and also because she had gotten into politics during their marriage, and wanted to maintain her same identity as “Firstname Exlastname”, versus the complications that she predicted if she switched back to “Firstname Maidenname” for any future campaigns (over ten years lapsed between then and her next campaign, by the way, and no. one. cared. – huge ego).
So we’ve always had our dad’s last name, and it does help to have the same last name as our mom.
In the meantime, she re-married a few years later, and never had any intentions of changing her name to First Stepdad’s. He knew that, and was European, and was very chill about the whole thing, given the common-ness of it overseas. Also, any thoughts about hyphenating were quickly squashed when considering the whole name – her first name (nickname) is four letters, and then both her (our) last name and First Stepdad’s are eleven letters each – so the hyphenated name would have been 23 characters, including the hyphen. Oofda.
She divorced him, and remarried Second Stepdad (her current husband) a couple years later. At that point, it’d been a year since her most recent political campaign, and she wants to get into it again, but probably not for another few years yet. She has built up her professional presence under her name, though, and *hates* the idea of changing it. However, Second Stepdad is *very* traditional, and absolutely hates that she didn’t change hers. She keeps saying that she’ll change it to his when she retires, although 1) that will never happen, she’s the energizer bunny of this city, and also 2) their marriage likely won’t last long – she’s halfway through her usual 8-year run with husbands. Cynical viewpoint, yes, but very valid, given her history.
My sister, who’s in her teens and won’t be needing to worry about this for years, is fairly traditional-ish, and has said that she’ll take her FH’s last name when the time comes. I, on the other hand, have always been *very* non-traditional, and always thought that I’d keep my last name. My last name, however, which is and alawys has been our dad’s, is not the last name that I intended to keep. I don’t have a relationship with our dad (my choice), and intended to change my name to my mom’s maiden name, but never got around to it, and just decided that when I moved to a different city and “started over”, I’d change my name then and make it a complete package.
I didn’t, and I haven’t, but now that I’m engaged, it kind of takes care of that whole dilemna for me. However, I’m not changing it to FI’s last name just because of that. He’s fairly traditional in that department, and told me that he’a always wanted Future Hiswife to be Firstname Hislastname. I asked him about hypothetical hyphenating (tongue twisteR?), and he said that he feels like it’s kind of a “cop-out”, which offended me. He comes from a very traditional family, though, and that’s just ‘what you do’ in that family. Fortunately, I like his last name, it flows with mine well, and is fairly easy, relatively speaking, to say and spell. Plus, BONUS, it’s only seven letters, compared to my eleven. That may not seem like a big difference, but it certainly is – in a world with limited space on forms, I often get letters addressed to me in the format of FIRSTNAME LASTNAM – there isn’t room for the last letter, since many electronic sorters are limited to ten characters for the last name, apparently. Yuck. Whatever.
I’ve known that I’ll take his name, and there hasn’t been any weirdness about it. I’ve practiced saying and writing it for over a year, though it became more real after we got engaged. I can’t wait to take his name, and to have it. – We’re one of the families that will have the same last name for mom, dad, and kids, and while I certainly don’t think that that’s the best way to do things or the only way it should be done, it’s the way we’re going, and we’re happy with the choice. 🙂
Oh! I should add, interestingly enough, that my mom is disappointed with my choice to take his name, and says that I should just keep my maiden name, and that she wishes she would have kept hers. This is, of course, in part because, if she changed her name each time she got married, she would now be on her fourth, count it, fourth last name, and doesn’t want me to go through that. But that’s her inherent cynicism, built on multiple divorces, and I have more faith than that in my choice of a permanent spouse.
Funny side note, I joke with her that she should have kept her maiden name and just kept hyphenating, because then everyone, from childhood friends to midlife business associates, would be able to recognize her based on her name. After all, Alexis Colby Dexter Carrington Colby Whatever did it just fine! With names the same length as her real names (this took more imagination and work than you might think), here’s an example of how long her name would be:
and her real first name is more like Maryanne
And mine’s going from something like Jane (real first name Janeanne) Worthington to Jane Martins. *big* improvement. 😀