When I was younger, my mom didn't change her name until I was 12 or so. In fact, my parents didn't get legally married until I was 12 or so-I love joking that I'm a bastard. But when I was younger, I always thought it was weird my mom didn't change her name. Like she didn't want to be part of the family or something. I always wondered why I had my dad's last name and not my mom's. How did they decide that the kids got his last name? I didn't understand how that worked.
So I have always had mixed feelings on the subject of changing my last name. I like the idea of having the same name as the rest of the family. I hate that if the mom doesn't change her name she's like the outsider or something. And I hate that it's assumed that the woman changes her name-assumed in society, not in my relationship. I've heard that some families get married and they both change their name to a different last name. Which sounds kind of fun, but maybe kind of weird.
B and I have talked about me changing my name. He's always said I don't have to if I don't want, which I really appreciate. But deep down, I always knew that I would change it because I have always wanted to be married to him. He's the only person I've ever been able to picture marrying, and the only person I have ever even considered changing my name for. It's weird, though. I like my old last name. It was a part of me. But I don't want to hyphenate it and I want to have the same name as my family. Before we got married I would always get excited to make reservations using B's last name. So even though I'm kind of sad to let my old name go, I'm so happy that I get to use B's.
The process of changing your name is a pain in the ass. I got a new social security card, and the other day I went to the DMV. I had made an appointment at 9am so I was kind of rushing around making sure I had all the paperwork before I left. As I was walking out the door I said to B "I hope I don't have to have my picture taken" because I looked awful. My hair was still wet, I had huge bags under my eyes, and I was wearing a Sesame Street t shirt. I love that t shirt, but I don't exactly want it on my driver's license. Anyway, once we got there I filled out all the paperwork. Making an appointment is the best idea, it makes everything go so much faster. And you get to cut in line which is always fun. It makes me feel important. When I had finished the paperwork I asked the DMV lady if I would have to have my picture taken and she said "no, you can use your old picture."
But she wasn't paying attention and printed off my stuff and then said "Tar-uh, are you having your name changed?"
Uh...yeah, that's why I'm here. And it's not Tar-uh. But I just said "yes."
"Oh, sorry about that, I have to re-do this. And you are going to have to have your picture taken."
Crap. Well, I guess it's a driver's license picture. They're supposed to be bad, right?
So what are your thoughts on changing your name? Have you done it? Were you as conflicted as me? I'm really curious if other people feel the same way, or if they didn't even think about it.