Full circle in thirty years?

Grrrumph. Yet another girl, er, young woman in my department got married … and changed her name from something easy to spell and pronounce to something totally impossible. Now she has to change her credit cards, driver’s license, e-mail account, etc., etc. As far as I could tell, she never even THOUGHT about doing anything else … any more than my mother did when she got married in '69. (Mom has often said that she wishes she hadn’t changed her name, and she wouldn’t have done so if she had thought she had any choice in the matter. My parents, I should add, are still happily married.)

OK, well, it’s her choice and I shouldn’t quibble with it, but I’m mad as hell at the amount of intolerance women who make OTHER choices still have to face. I told my college roommates once that I didn’t plan to change my name, and they seemed to think I was somehow showing “disrespect” for my hypothetical future husband. Told Ex #1 and he said I would be “harming my kids” because it would make them “confused” if their parents had different names (!!!) (Of course, this guy also thought that people of different religions shouldn’t marry, so he took it upon himself to make all his girlfriends convert to Anglicanism. I hear he was actually successful with my successor, now his fiancee, but that’s off the point.) Anyway, I learned to keep my mouth shut after that, but – what CENTURY are these people living in? And did my mother’s generation of feminists change nothing? Rrrrgghh …

[Rant over. We return to your regularly scheduled programming.]

I thought long and hard on the subject when I got married, and dragged my feet on getting some of my credit cards and so on changed because it was a pain in the butt (I’ve been married 1 and 1/2 years now and I just got my last credit card changed over to the new name this month). My main agrument for not changing my name was that I didn’t think it would be anti-patriarchal (or whatever) because I would be keeping my father’s name. I didn’t even toy with the idea of going with a hyphenated name because those just seem like such a botheration. They’re a pain to data enter, and they’re a pain when other people get confused about which or how many you use.

I guess one of the reasons I went ahead and changed to my husband’s last name was that my maiden name was Barber and I was tired of people misunderstanding me and calling me Barbara. When I worked at my dad’s gas station, I’d tell customers to make their checks out to Barber’s Exxon and they would ask me if I was Barbara. Even recently (well, 1 1/2 years ago) my voicemail at work identified me as “Katheryn Barber” and someone left a message that began, “Hi, Barbara.” I feared that with my new last name Saunders people would begin calling me Sandra, but it hasn’t happened yet. Instead, they keep pronouncing or spelling it Sanders. So I guess it really isn’t an improvement, frustration wise.

My point is (I know I got off track) I don’t have a negative opinion of those who don’t want to change their name. My main problem is I’m kinda stupid and easily confused. There are two judges at work that I didn’t even know were married to each other because they have different last names. And, with the hyphenated or multiple last names, I do get frustrated when a person can’t decide themselves what they want their name to be and changes it periodically. This happens at work, too, sometimes because of divorce, sometimes because the e-mail system has a hiccup and decides it won’t accept a hyphenated name anymore, and sometimes because… I don’t know why. People need a change?

In conclusion, call yourself whatever you want, just don’t change it like some people change their underwear.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

I took on my husband’s name when I got married becuase mine was hard to pronounce and spell, etc. I was actually amazed at how easy it was to change a lot of the stuff, like my drivers license. I don’t even remember having to show my marriage certificate or anything. I mean, what’s stopping someone from just changing their DL to any old name and causing all sorts of trouble with it. The thing that irked me a little was that when I went to change the name on my bank accounts, the guy couldn’t fathom that I wanted to change the name ONLY. “Are you sure you don’t want it changed to a joint account?” Hell no, man! That’s MY DAMN MONEY!

I have no idea what the “correct” answer is. When we got married, I asked my fiancé if she wanted to keep her maiden name (a little harder to spell than mine, but much shorter). Her response, and I do quote, “Hell no! What’s the point of getting married, then?” I should note that she is quite independent and has always managed “her” own money (bank accounts, purchases, credit cards–we keep one checking account jointly for practical reasons, but she has her own account as well).
I did not quite understand the response, but she was sufficiently vehement that I did not raise the issue again. We’re less than a month from our 16th and have never come close to separation or divorce (as opposed to murder which has been contemplated). She uses her maiden name as her middle name, but usually does not sign with a middle initial. Apparently some women simply prefer to go with the “married name” experience. (And no, I am not going to go ask her about it again.)


I once had a colleague from Taiwan who told me the Chinese tradition was that women always keep their father’s name even after marriage. The first time my friend wrote home and gave her return address as “Mrs. Shen,” her parents were furious! They were outraged she had become so American and could show such disrespect to her family.

I kept my name. I ran into a newly divorced friend recently and she said, “You were so smart to keep your name!” She had just been to court to have her maiden name restored.

More pansy-assed hand-wringing. What people do with their own name is their own business.

You wanna write the wedding vows for them, too? Choose their kid’s names? Tell them how to vote?

The BBQ pit is for FLAMES, dammit, not a forum for professional busybodies!

I plan on taking my husband’s name just for the amusement value. ( I already changed my name once, simply because I didn’t like the name I was born to.) My future husband’s name is very obviously Japanese, and I plan to be amused at people’s reactions to my white face with that name.

That, and the fact that I have discovered late in life a certain fascination with the whole gettin’ married thang, of which name changing is a big part. Kinda solidifies the whole experience.

Actually, it will probably end up that I use both, depending on the situation.


Boycott shampoo! Demand REAL poo!

Nickrz: Piss off, you rat bastard.

Happier now?

My wife changed her name from Nguyen to Charles over the first couple of years of our marriage. Her brother’s wife didn’t change her name, and gave her name to the kids as well. It’s just a matter of pragmatism; Americans simply can’t pronounce Nguyen.

My wife hyphenated her last name. And we used her maiden name as our daughters middle name.

'Course, my wife is now a teacher. So she is called “Mrs Westfall”, instead of by her hyphenated name. Que sera sera, I suppose.

And, as Nickrz pointed out, do whatever you so desire. It is, after all, your name.

Flick Lives!

I changed mine when I maried because I didn’t want to have my dad’s last name anymore. My parents divorced just after we moved in together and he did some really horrible things during the divorce, and I didn’t want to be associated with that name anymore.

I thought when I got married I would get a “easy” last name like Smith or Jones. Nope! Got another French-Canadian last name. No disrespect to any French Canadians out there, but it blew my idea of hypenating my married name. If I did, it would be two names to get mispronounced and mispelled…

Ok, I’ll ask: How does one pronounce “Nguyen”?



Oh. Eat my shorts, thou slovenly asey wench.
Now I’m happy!

I’ve wondered how far the hyphen thing would go. I mean, get real: Smith-Jones-Brown-White
I’ve never particularly liked my last name, so I’d consider changing it to my wife’s if I liked hers. Or we could come up with a new one to share!

I can’t wait to get married, even though I say I never will. My last name is four letters long. The first letter is a consonant. The last three are vowels. Nobody can pronounce it. I have to spell it about 8 times before people get it right. And although it’s not a common female first name, it’s not unheard of for women to have it or a variation of it for a first name. So I get the people who don’t understand that my first name is Libby, and refer to me by my last name. Happens a lot in class.

Come to think of it, every man I’ve ever dated has had a reasonably easy-to-pronounce last name, if not one that’s downright common. For example, at least 416 other people share the same last name as one of my exes at OSU alone. I suppose luck would have it that I’ll meet the man of my dreams and he’ll have one of those “can I buy a vowel?” hockey-player names.

It’s pronounced “win”. I’ve had a few friends with this name.

Well, my dad is a psychopath of the first water. I don’t like the idea of sharing his name. I would never make my wife give up teh name of her family, which is full of fantastic people.

In fact, maybe I should change my name.

Regarding “Nguyen”: Is this a Korean surname? I am just wondering, if it is from a language which uses an alphabet other than the English one, why, when changing to an English spelling, would it not be spelled phonetically?

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Lucky, I’ve wondered that, too. I read an article once in Reader’s Digest about 2 Korean orphans, brother and sister, brought to America to be adopted. The sister’s name was Dung, but was pronounced “Yung.” So why the heck wasn’t it spelled “Yung” then?

Eagerly awaiting an answer from the Teeming Millions :slight_smile:

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

My wife changed her name; her maiden name tended to confuse people, for some reason. It was “Criswell,” which for some reason people heard as “Chris Well,” ignoring her first name (Leigh-Anne). She even got mail addressed to “Mr. Chris Well.”

Of course, I changed my name, too, when I was 18, so there you have it.