Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Well, I feel like I am embroiled in the world's quietest controversy.

I have decided not to take my fiance's last name after marriage. It has nothing to do with his last name. It is a perfectly nice last name. The fact is...whenever I think about changing my name, my chest gets tight and I have trouble breathing.

I have had this name since I was born. It was chosen just for me. My first and middle names were carefully chosen to match my last name. And there is a lot of history in my last name. (most of it bad...but still) My high school, college and grad school diplomas all have this name on it. I've had it for thirty years. To take a new name would be a loss of identity for me. I wouldn't know who that new person is.

Someone recently told me that if I don't take my husband's name it will be like we aren't even married. I just don't agree with that. I'm not a piece of property to be transferred from one family to another. I am an autonomous being joining my life with someone else's.

Maybe someday, after we have children, I will consider hyphenating. But I will never give up my last name entirely. It's just too much a part of who I am.


Genevieve said...


I fully support your decision not to change your name. I would never change mine, either.

If anyone harasses you, tell them Gary's changing his name to yours. :-)

My friend Robin has been married for 5 years, and she did not change her name. She has told me numerous times what a good decision that was.

Ellen said...

You know, Amy O'Malley's parents never gave her a middle name so that she could turn her last name into a middle one when she got married. I always thought that was cool.

I took my husband's last name because a) I wasn't all that beholden to my maiden one and b) it was too funky and Polish not to take.

Will your kids have his last name? I don't know how that works.

Genevieve said...

I've thought about the kids-last-name issue myself. I wouldn't want my kids to have my husband's name and me to be the only one with a different name. For me, I would either hyphenate the kids' names, or they would each have a different last name (ie, first kid has mine, second kid has dad's)

I think it's all completely personal, though.

Malady said...

I don't mind the kids having Gary's last name. And I may consider hyphenating. Haven't decided yet. But I will never completely give up my last name.

Anonymous said...

I do not care what last name you use, but any kids will have to have " Offspring of the Great and Wonderful Gary" someplace in name.

Malady said...

We'll see...

Mother of the Bride said...

Your name was chosen for reasons. Amy was a significant woman in all senses, as was Louise. You just can't ever know how much like them you are. Now as for the malaise....

As an adopted child you didn't "come with a name". God gave you the name as He placed you into our care. But that is the way that you might someday see a new last name of Fusco too.

I married it and what a story it has always provided at the doctor's office. (I suspect that they were the town sick people as that would fit what we now know.) It wasn't an option in the mid 60's in central Texas-you just changed your name. Occasionally some uppity female would use her maiden name, but no hyphen. But McGlasson was too complicated to do that.

The reason you feel that it would be a loss of identity is that you haven't had the melding effect. You won't be loosing an identity, just getting a new and broader one. As you begin to blend you will find it more comfortable. Just keep reading Gibran. Gary will begin to feel not "Gary", but Amy's husband. etc. etc.

And just wait. After kids you become Amy's mom or Dante's mom etc. Talk about no more identiy!!

And as for kids-----I think Perfect is the only name she will need.

DIANNE said...

Oh, Amy
I do believe the new name would be beautiful to say. Though I will always remember you as the other.
Dianne R

DIANNE said...

Amy oh Amy the new name would be awesome to say. OH please do consider .
I will always remember you as AMY.