Friday, March 6, 2009

What's in a name? That's not my name!

I was never the girl who would write on her notebook Mrs. Pitt or Mrs. Depp, or even Mrs. Jonathan. Taylor Thomas, oh yeah, I took it there. Why? Because I like my last name. It's different, It's German, and I've never run into anyone with it. I've found some people on facebook with the same last name, but most of them are in Austria. The Mr.'s last name on the other hand is very common. Actually, everything about his name is common- first and last name. If you do a google search for me: you will definitely find me. Him however, no go. There are athletes, movie directors, criminal defendants, you name it!- that all have the same name as him. My last name is also the last in my family line. My father was adopted, never got remarried or had any other kids- so I am the only one. I like to think that this had something to do with the fact that I'm keeping my name, but in reality that had nothing to do with it.

I'm just selfish and I really like my name. Plus, my son has my last name and his full name makes it the preppiest name ever- I did this on purpose because whether you admit it or not, racism still exists in America, and I wanted to at least get his resume looked at. Everyone in my family has "safe" names so I refused to go "experimental" or ethnic for that reason. I tried to convince the Mr. that our future kids should have my last name as well but that discussion didn't go too well.

After we, one of us reluctantly, decided that our future kids could have his last name with no hyphenation of any sort I had to decide if I was going to take the plunge into new name-dom.
Before I made my decision, I considered all my options:
lets pretend my name is Agnes Rolder and his name is John Smith*

- Agnes Rolder-Smith. This was the best possibility I could think of, however that would be a long last name. I knew some kids in high school who had 2 last names. I thought of them and after a while I decided I couldn't go through with it. It would make my last name too long- 15 letters! Every time I would fill out a form half of my name would be cut off. I don't want to even think about how it would look on my drivers license with my 7 letter first name added to the bunch.

Both without the hyphenation- Agnes Rolder Smith. Just as good as the hyphenation, however it means that I would be referred to as Mrs. Smith instead of Rolder Smith and I just don't like his last name. If I was going to add it, I would need my name in there somewhere.

Making a new last name- Rolith. My example name comes out much better than my real name would. This was never really an option though because my hunny loves his name and doesn't want to change it. He actually worked with someone who did this and they both were happy with the new name.

Have him change his name- Mr. Rolder. As mentioned above, hunny loves his name and all the supposed family history that comes with it so that one is a no-go.

I then listed the pros and cons to changing my name:
Pros: New family, symbolism, blah blah blah, and its not like I'm established in my career or anything yet so it wouldn't cause confusion
Cons: I'm no one's property, going though the whole name change process, new name wouldn't sound right, there is always the possibility of divorce that no one wants to think about, I just don't like his name!

Surprisingly, the Mr. took this all very well. I think maybe it's because I've been preparing him since we met. And Mommy dearest is happy because she's been advocating for me to keep my name since we got engaged. I'm sure I'll hear something about it later from my old-school family members but I don't care, as long as there is an understanding between me and him then nothing else should matter, should it?

Real reason I wrote this post?- I wanted to get this song in your head. Today's song of the week is the infectious "That's not my name" by The Ting Tings. Who wouldn't want to dance to this at their wedding? It's just happy! Enjoy!

Are you keeping or changing your name? Was it an easy decision?

*Definitely not even close to our real names.

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