name change after marriage silliness

So, I got married about a month ago, and decided to change my name, for a variety of personal reasons. (This thread isn’t about defending my choice, so if you have issues with this, take them elsewhere).

I changed my e-mail address, and sent a note out to my friends and aquaintances. This story is about one of the latter, obviously.

I just got a mail today from one of them, oh, let’s call her “Lisa”. She answered a question I’d asked her, and then in a P.S. said “I never thought you were the kind of girl who’d change her name. Tells you what I know.”

I mostly chalked it up to her being silly, and deleted the e-mail, but the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off.

What exactly did she mean by that - “the kind of girl”. What, praytell, kind of girl would change her name? In our group of friends, 95% of them have changed their name. That’s not why I did it, I’m only quoting that number to say that they’re all obviously the “kind of girl who would change her name”, so you’re saying something about the whole group of friends, not just me.

And then I got more mad, because I remembered a story where she actually tried to browbeat a close friend of hers into not changing her name when she got married. What right does Lisa have to tell anyone what their name should/shouldn’t be? I’m just lucky she didn’t know about the marriage and the possible name change before hand, she probably would have tried to convert me too.

It probably goes without saying that Lisa did not change her name when she got married. That’s OK, I have no opinion one way or another - either about her individual, personal choice, or about any woman who chooses not to change her name. Fine by me, do whatever you want, since it has no impact on my life.

However, Lisa is embarking on an interesting path with respect to names. She and her husband are lobbying the provincial government to give their firstborn child a melded last name. Like say if her last name was Norstar, and his last name was Adamson, they want the kid’s name to be Adamstar. I think she’s truly a nut to be doing that, but I would never say anything like that to her. I mean, it’s kind of silly, but at the same time, she feels strongly about it, so who am I to judge? I mean, it’s her life, has no impact on mine.

But the second she judged me and my choice, I figured that was the time for some payback. 'Course, I’m a big wimp, so all I’m doing is posting this here, not confronting her. Unless she’s a member - Hi!

So, I’m sure I’ll get flamed for something, I know that a thread a while back devolved into yelling about how stupid the women who change their name are. As I said, feel free to take those issues elsewhere (like the Pit), unless you realize that the issue really is moot.

What I would like to know is did anyone else get any weird reactions when they changed their name? The only other weird thing that happened to me was that my mother (after telling me she was happy that I was changing my name) said in a disappointed voice, “Oh, you’re changing your e-mail?” Well, yeah. It’s kind of made up of my name, so if my name is changing … <shrug> I wonder if maybe she was just worried that she’d have to figure out how to change it in her address book. :slight_smile:

I got married last month and I added his name to mine. I’m not hyphenating it or using both names all the time, but my social security card, driver’s license and all important papers have me listed as First Middle Maiden Last. My degree and plenty of other official paperwork stuff is in my maiden name, so I thought it best to keep it on the record. Anybody who thinks I sold out by changing my name is a Class-A goofball in my book, and I’m a liberal feminist type. However, I like my husband and while I am only his property now as much as he is mine, his name is far easier to spell and pronounce than my maiden name.

Lisa sounds like a nosy little so-and-so. If somebody said that to me, I’d suggest that if they want to make the world a better place, they should go do some volunteer work instead of being the PC police for her friends over really trivial stuff. Jeez, how rude!

I’m going through the same thing with my email too, but my account will let me have several email addresses, so I’m just creating a new one with the new name and the mail from that will go into the same folder as the old one. Eventually I’ll get everybody switched to the new one, but it should be an easy process. :slight_smile:

Sounds to me like Lisa is one of those annoying people who likes to jab people with those “innocent” little passive-aggressive barbs that are meant to be insulting, but seemingly innocuous as to give her an “out” if someone calls her on it.

I have a similar “friend” who returned my email wherein I announced my engagement to SkipMagic with this little quip: “I’m so glad you’re finally getting married.” [Emphasis mine.]

(FTR, I’m 33.)

I was tempted, of course, to say, “I wanted to take my time choosing the right person, because I find it preferable to wait–in fact, to be single forever–than to marry an abusive bastard and wind up divorced by my mid 20s, just because I can’t stand to be alone.”

(I’m sure you can guess her story from that . . . )

Instead, I decided to take the semi-high road and pretend that I didn’t know what she meant by that.

“Finally . . . ?” I replied, and went on to point out to her that my fiance (now husband) and I hadn’t even known each other a year at that point, so it was hardly an “at long last” situation.

I figured if she was smart, she’d let it go at that, and not try to further clarify her comment.

She was smart.

Would it be possible for you to take a similar approach, heater2000?

And how DID you respond, anyway?

My official name is DeVena Maiden Hislast. Why did I add his name? Other than being very proud to be married to Hubby, he asked me. (I was older and established) He specifically said it was important to him, but that he understood if I didn’t want to. Plus, it makes my Mother-in-Law pissed - :smiley:

My friend just got married and she took his name. He - 39, She - 41… First marriage for both and they are just silly together.

Heater you are obviously an open minded person who doesn’t get judgemental about what your friend does. You have opinions but won’t force them on anyone else.

Your friend on the other hand, is a closeminded little wench. It is none of her business what you do with your name. You need to make that clear to her and then you might want to start distancing yourself from her and her odd ideas.

Congrats on the marriage!

My wife kept her name. Confuses the hell out of people. Its kinda fun and when she finally gets tired of me she won’t have to hassle with changing it back.

How is Rap like Porn? Both are better with the sound turned off.

I always planned to change my name by the time hubbie and I had kids just cuz I wanted my family (me, hubby, and future kids) to all go by the same surname. (Although, I honestly believe that if my husband hadn’t been an only child of an only child I could’ve convinced him to change his last name to match mine! I almost had him convined anyway because we both agree my maiden name is much cooler than his last name.) I thought about hypenating, but we both have long last names and it was too unwieldy.

Anyway, as soon as I got back from my honeymoon my “friend” went on the attack to get me to change my name. (She had recently gotten married, changed her name and (I think) was feeling insecure about it. When I decided to change it as my 1st anniversary gift to my hubby (paper, ya know) she literally drove me to the social security office herself–tricked me actually. “Will you come with me on this errand? Oh, look. We’re right by the SS office!” It was really quite strange.

I’ve been married 3 times. The first was in 1965. No question about changing my name; it was done, pretty much without exception. I kept that name after my divorce. I married again in 1986, and kept my name from my first marriage!
I am now married to the love of my life. I took his name without a blink.
“Lisa” sounds like she has taken the job of “General Manager of the Universe” Ignore her.

Got a few weird reactions for NOT changing my name:

“Don’t you LOOOVE your husband enough to take his name?”
Oh, no, I don’t love him at all. That’s why we’re getting married. :rolleyes:

“So, um, how do you DO that?”
By not doing anything. The only piece of paper I signed was the marriage license. Nothing else needs to be changed if my name is staying the same. (Duh!)

“So how are we supposed to address mail to you?”
With our names, which are the same as they were when we were living in sin. You managed to send us mail THEN – it’s the same deal.

Ignore Lisa. Your reasons for changing or not changing your name are none of her d*mn business.


My mother in law did the same thing. Got married back in the 60s and changed her name. Got divorced in the 70s and kept her married name. Got remarried a few years ago and - well, she’s used it since for nearly 40 years, it didn’t make sense to change it.

Friend in college was adamant about not changing her name. Got married, changed her name. Asked why, she said "I’m marrying everything including his name. I wanted to say “Isn’t he marrying everything including YOUR name?” but I kept quiet because as you said no impact on my life.


It’s not necessarily that obvious. I read a story about a woman who didn’t want to change her name, but the clerk said it wasn’t allowed in that state and made the change anyway (the woman eventually decided to hyphenate). So I have always wondered if there were some kind of “No, I’m keeping my maiden name” box to check!

I changed my name after getting married last summer simply because I never liked my maiden name; it was an unusual name, a real pain to spell to people, and I don’t care much for my father and have no interest in sharing his family name. I haven’t received any comments on my decision, positive or negative.

Reply to your friend that you “never thought she was the kind of girl who would stick her nose where it wasn’t welcome”, heater. That’ll learn 'er.

(Oh, by the way, I think the blended name for kids idea is cool.)

Ack! The name game! I took my ex’s sirname when we were married. Didn’t bother changing it back to my maiden name afterwards (absolute laziness). Then moved to Italy. When it came time to renew my passport I had it issued in my maiden name. Easy enough one would think. Now I have Italian ID docs. issued w/ the previous sirname which I need to wait till after marriage to get reissued as well as having a the ex’s sirname listed as mine on my child’s birthcert. GAAAAH. Bottom line. I have to carry around my current ID & DL w/ prev. name, expired and current passport if I want to be properly ‘identifiable’. The locals find it oh so amusing the name changes of the Americani (the women do not take the husbands sirname here) when I whip out all the necessary docs. So my .02 if/when you get tired of him be sure to revert back to orig before fleeing country.

Hey, this actually happened to a friend of mine, sort of. She was getting married by a magistrate in a very backwards section of NC and asked what she had to do to keep her maiden name. The magistrate said “Oh, you can’t do that!!”.

Turns out the fellow flat-out lied to her. All she had to do was… nothing. She (and her intended) walked out, went to another town, and got married w/o any bull-oney. In fact, it’s more of a PITA to change your name, because you have to do driver’s license, SSN etc.

Yeah, I decided to take the high road, like you, auntie em. I didn’t respond at all. You know, if you can’t say something nice …

Besides, as you said:

I have responded to her in the past before about other comments she made, and had her play innocent … so it’s not worth the breath.

As I said, she’s really just an aquaintance, and I think the whole group is kind of giving her a wide berth of late …

Heh, I admit I’d love to say this though … must resist urge to respond, must resist urge to respond. Oh good, I deleted the e-mail yesterday, and my trash can has been emptied. :slight_smile:

Thanks to everyone else for relating your stories of your experiences. Glad to know I’m not the only one dealing with a) paperwork hell, and b) crazy reactions from friends and family.

Heater “HisLastName, and proud of it” :slight_smile:

I used to be really self-righteously judgmental towards women who chose to assume their husband’s surname when they married. Then I grew up.

I, too, had a priggish acquaintance (actually a former close friend) who said much the same thing to me as your friend did, heater2000ca. She did the passive-aggressive thing of wondering aloud why someone would choose to take some man’s name rather than keep their own. I called her on it and pointed out that by keeping her maiden name, she is choosing to have a man’s name… her father’s. I also pointed out that my future husband was not “some man”, he was the best man I’d ever known in my life and why shouldn’t I prefer his name rather than the name of the abusive idiot who married my mother. (My stepfather had adopted me.) Besides, his name was easier to spell.

Sometimes people ask me why I would want to keep “my father’s name” when I don’t particularly like him and avoid him as much as I can. My response is that the name is also mine; it was given to me when I was born. It just happens to be the same as his.

Names are so intensely personal, and people who dispute others’ choices are rude jackasses. Discussions of how people’s names came about can be interesting and informative, if the subject comes up and everyone is willing to discuss it, but to go around making assumptions and accusations based on what someone wants to be called? Please.

That’s annoying. I find it interesting that people like Lisa usually self-identify as feminists, when in my opinion they are sending the exact same messages that feminism has battled for decades:

Old message: Because you’re a woman, you can’t work outside the home! You must take your husband’s name when you marry! It’s just not right!

New message: Because you’re a woman, you must work outside the home! You can’t take your husband’s name when you marry! It’s just not right!

Actual feminist message: Women can do whatever they want, including working outside the home and keeping their own name if they choose.

As an aside, Mrs. Giraffe decided to take my name when we got married (first AND last – it’s really confusing when people call). I was pleased, but wouldn’t have thought twice if she’d kept her own. She liked the idea of us having the same last name, so she decided to change hers. I wouldn’t have done the same thing in her shoes, but I respect her choice and the reasons behind it.

Heater, Lisa has exactly the same right to hassle you about changing your name as people have to address me by DrJ’s last name…none at all. Doesn’t stop me from getting Christmas cards and birthday gifts addressed to CrazyJ, though, and it won’t stop Lisa from giving you shit. It’s just the way of the world.

It really, really, REALLY pissed me off, though, considering a lot of the culprits were friends and relatives, all of whom I’d told repeatedly that my name wasn’t changing. I thought we’d ironed all this out several months ago, but just last week somebody mentioned how she knows I don’t use his name, but she’s a traditionalist. All this time, I thought it was traditional to call people by their actual names, not what you thought their names should be.

(It’s worth pointing out that there’s no issue of me not using his last name, as I don’t have his last name in any way, shape, or form. My legal name is still exactly what it was the day I was born, and it will never change. She knows this perfectly well, and is just being an ass.)

In other words, get used to taking shit about it, at least for a while.