Friday, January 28, 2011

Not Changing

The Name Change issue has been all over this week, eastsidebride, Souris Marriage, A Practical Wedding. We're all thinking about it. It's one of those wedding/marriage issues that doesn't really ever seem to be resolved (some people change their name and then change it back, see APW) and until you have children there is that up in the air as well. I, as I've been kind of loud about, didn't change my name. Couldn't FATHOM changing my name. It was never on the table. I understand why people do. My Oldest and Best Friend didn't think twice about it, it's what she wanted to do. My college roommate (not Mary) changed her name because it was important for her to have a united name with her husband and mostly her daughter. For me, changing my last name seemed as alien as changing my first. Ages ago Meg said something about name changing being so emotional because it's an issue where inequality is still the norm and she's right. And that's really really wrong.

I grew up in a family with two last names, June Momslastname and Terry Dads. I was named Hannah May Momslastname Dads. I like the idea of sharing a name with my mother so I'm been Hannah Momslastname-Dads. My sisters and brother generally just go by Dads. Which is cool. I never minded the two last names. We're still a family, Christmas cards are addressed to The Momslastname-Dads Family. My mom said she never minded not having the same last name as her children. All is well.

Over and over again in the conversation women talk about the desire to have the same name as their children. I understand that desire and share it. I'm not as chill as my mom. I want my kids to have the same name as me too; I want it to be clear to all involved that they're mine and I'm theirs and we are in the same family. No one has discusses the possibility that children be given their mother's name and that their father be the odd one out. Is a man's right to have his children bear his name really that sacred? I feel like it isn't. No more so than my right to share a name with my children. Fortunately for me, David doesn't have the same intense feelings I have about names (for serious, I cried when I got that stupid Christmas card addressed to Hannah and David Davidsname from my sister in law). Dave's sisters have different last names and he feels no less related to them, feels no loss at the change of name. So our children will most likely have my name. Not both of my names, carrying on both grandparent's last name from one side seems a bit intense. But Dad's name. Because that's the one I share with my siblings.

I would love to have a united family name. I would love for David to take to take my name and for us to be clearly delineated as a family in that way but I can't do it at the expense of my name. It's just not on the table. David has considered changing his but decided that it would offend his family and be misconstrued by his friends. Which I understand. So I'm not pushing the issue. He's as entitled to his name as I am to mine. No more so though. And we are equally entitled to name our children after our families. So we'll see. I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I've gone for McIntosh-Smith...sort of...but I just reallly like the way this sounds...

    Matilda Mary Emily McIntosh de Pomeroy Smith

    Paaa haaaa haaa, too much? Can I be called that but only between Christmas and New Year? x