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N in azaleas

So, I'm thinking about changing my name..

..but I have no idea what's involved. Have any of you been through this? What did you decide? Why did you choose to or not choose to?

I've been married for 3 years. Can I still use a marriage license? What if I didn't call myself Mrs. Pope on the license?


Perhaps this link on Texas name change laws will help. :)

When you ask, "Why did you choose to or not choose to," do you really want the full explanation of why I chose not to change my name when I get married? It's something I have very strong feelings about, and I'm happy to share them. But if you are wanting to change your name, I don't want you to feel like I'm stomping on that choice. Because I wouldn't. :)

Edited at 2008-06-17 05:44 pm (UTC)
Done it. I can't remember now whether I did it with Social Security first or DPS, but one of those was the first step -- getting the ID with the new name on. My license doesn't have my married name on it, which I think is standard.

I chose to split the difference: I publish under my original name, but use my married name on everything else. It's a bureaucracy thing.
Did it last time; didn't this time. I think my reasons are well-known, but I can reiterate if needed.
I have a fairly clear opinion on this, and it is fairly idiosyncratic. I tend to approach names and labels and things in what I guess I'd call a holistic fashion. The label is part of what a thing is, and if you are going to get the thing right, you have to know the correct label. So it is abundantly clear to me that my name is a part of me, and it is basically immutable; if I had a different name, I would be different.

(My name comes in a few variants, but these are pretty clearly tagged with differing levels of formality, e.g. legal name, including middle name, compared to everyday name. Plus my mom gets to call me "Geech".)

For example, greeneyes_rpi does not care whether you call her "Elizabeth" or "Liz", and this freaks me out.

So if I were to somehow get married, I would never ask her to take my name; I would more or less default to not expecting her to take my name; and I would let her make that decision herself without more pressure than stating my opinion in more or less these terms.

On the other hand, if you wanted to ditch "Nicole" for something else like a "Ste. Evangeline" or an "Anechka-Maria", well, that's a totally different discussion, and you should go for it :-)
Oh, no, I'm keeping the Nicole part. I'm pretty partial to the Allee, as well. Much as I love my dad, though, the Roberts is not a strong part of my identity.

For 6 years, I was the only Nicole Roberts in my system at work. For 2 years, there was the lady in the Tax practice in Canada and I; periodically, they'd mix our emails up. Now, there's a Nicole Roberts Rasmussen in my office and (because no one knows my married name), many colleagues confuse us. In August, a third (fourth?) Nicole Roberts is joining our practice in Irving.

There is no Nicole Pope in the directory.

Furthermore, I am beginning to more seriously entertain the thought of family - whether a family of two, as Elizabeth discusses, or a family with actual little people in it - and I'd like to have a single name.

All that said, and I still feel a little pang at the thought of changing my SSN card.
You should absolutely make the decision that you want.
Hyphenate. Brandon can change his name too. I know a couple that did this.

It isn't just your decision.
The immlass is a wise and powerful woman. :)

(For the record, my strong feelings about marriage related name changes are largely based in the fact that everyone ASSUMES it is a decision that only involves women. If the societal assumption were that BOTH parties had name decisions to make, it wouldn't irk me so much.)
Well, socially, of course, we're already known as the [dread] Pope-Roberts. :)
We have friends who combined their names. She was Santmire, he was Denk. When they married, they became Denkmire.

I thought this was a creative solution that elminates some of the confusion that can come with hyphenation.
Short answer: It's my grandmother's maiden name, through the Indiana Quakers. (If my mother is to be believed, it is a Huguenot name).
I pronounce it alLAY.

Long history to follow:
Grandmama's mother met her father in graduate school at the University of Chicago in the 20s, I think. There were four kids: Walter Goldsberry, Viola Irving (who was called Pixie), Elisabeth (Beth), and John. Beth's best friend was Elizabeth (Jake) Hinds. Jake's older brother was George Putnam Hinds.

Walter married Jake.
Pixie married Put.

So, I have many double cousins and many with affection for the name Allee. In addition, I am beginning to know more nicknames for Elisabeth: Elsa, Beth, Betsy, Lisa, Betty.

Women in my family seem to like family names - Kate and Sumner are two first cousins, but Katie Sumner is a second cousin.

Thanks for asking!

I am reasonably certain that at some point between three and twelve years ago, I asked you something like "Do you prefer Elizabeth or Liz or what should I call you?" and you said "I don't care". I remember because it freaks me out (*supra, comment 176828, emphasis in original), as it were.
Not that strange. I went by Becky until '98 (I changed after high school) and really can't stand it from anyone but family and really old friends. The wide variety of spellings for my preferred Bekah or Rebecca don't bother me at all though.

You and I aren't half as strange as my husband though- who cheerfully responds to both his first name (Alan, which is generally used by the world at large simply because it's easier) and his middle name (Sumner, generally used by his very large family on both sides). I spent months while initially dating him trying to determine which name I'd wind up calling him because he had absolutly no preference and referred to himself as whatever he happened to be in the mood for. I wound up going with Alan for the same reason that he goes by Alan generally- it's easier than trying to explain that you have two entirely different names to answer to.
Oh whew... glad you weighed in on this, because I was thinking I was just insane to remember this.

Says me, who until two years ago would shudder horribly if someone thought it was acceptable to call me Debbie.
Actually, there was a time when greeneyes_rpi DID care whether you called her Elizabeth or Liz. Both of them made it very clear when we met them that while drangelo called her Liz, she PREFERRED Elizabeth. Which is why I still can't call her Liz and somewhat freak out when I hear other people, who clearly knew her after she changed her opinion on this, call her that. I feel like perhaps I don't "know her" as well as these other folk.

Just sayin.

Edited at 2008-06-18 02:44 pm (UTC)
I chose to change my name so that I would have the same last name as my kids. I chose to keep the name after I divorced for the same reason. I really wrestled with both decisions.

IIRC, I stood in line at the Social Security office to get the name change done and that getting all of the changes done took quite a while.
Oh boy!

Right. The decision to change my name was really hard. why? Not because I was a font of feminism or because I had a lifetime of works in my maiden name behind me- but because well, my husbands last name kindof sucked. There. I said it.

If it has been just Hinds or just Brofft you might have caught me doodling it in my diary once I realized marriage was eventually going to happen. As it was I tried really hard not to think about it until we were engaged... even then weeks after we got married I was dragging my feet and trying to justify the fact that I wanted one family name with the fact that I didn't much care for my last name or his (Alan Sumner Foster was equally terrible). Blegh.

I got my name changed about 6 months after we got married and 5 years after we got married I'm still finding the rare instance where something didn't get flipped (changing my name with UofH has been an ongoing annoyance since I can't find our marriage license) but honestly I'm glad I did. The name is just as much of a nuisance (Yes there's a hyphen. It's a dash. No I'm not "The Hinds" or "The Brofft" and no you may not assume my maiden name is either Hinds or Brofft.) but at least it's a nuisance I've got in common with Alan. Sharing a family name meant a lot to me for kids. Not so much of an identity thing (although it's kinda fun being one of only three people in the world with my last name) as easing paperwork and common assumptions.

That said, I don't recommend hyphenating if it's not something you're really excited about. Pope-Roberts is the same length as ours and it can be a little daunting to look at standard forms and have to count to make sure I've got 12 spaces to work with (+1 for hyphen). If I'm writing out my full name I've got 12 spaces for first and middle (like you, I'm rather attached to my Lynn) than another 13 for the space between last and first/middle. I get to the end of spaces fairly often and Kate has had her name truncated a couple of times (double middle name didn't help) on the forms I've got in our records. I often have my middle name truncated to a simple L or written out entirely. My credit card has my name stretching from one end to the other because I insisted on the whole thing. It's not impossible and it's certainly not anything that would convince me to go back to my maiden name, but it would have been convenient if Lisa had decided to pick one or the other rather than hyphenating.

That said, after 4 and a half years of use I find my new name has a rather nice cadence and snap to it that my maiden name didn't have. It's very much grown on me.

I don't recall calling myself by my married name on the license (I was still really really uncertain if I was going to change at all). I just followed the directions when I finally broke down, got my new SS card and license and it was surprisingly easy to get everything else swapped over. People get married all the time and change their names- there are a ton of well tuned routes for changing everything. No one except perhaps the initial SS office will even blink twice at the length of time since your marriage.
You know, Bruce's legal name was Hinds-Brofft for the length of his marriage, too. I don't know if he ever changed it back..
He introduces himself as Bruce Brofft informally now, although that may or may not be official and I was only in a position to notice in the last 4 or 5 years. I doubt anyone kept track and never thought to ask since Lisa kept the same as the kids.
My maiden name was Williams. Given that I'd already left my first name behind in 1990, leaving that one behind was a no brainer. a_h_scientist's name was cooler and it also moved me up in the alphabet.

We did change the pronunciation, which seemed to irk his parents. He was Ahs-man prior to marriage. We went with Ows-man after. It hasn't helped people to spell it right, though.
I also believe a label is part of the entity itself. Names matter. Keep or take the name that most makes you both you and happy. Don't let anyone else decide for you.

That said, my name was perfectly good for the first 30 years, so when I married, I kept it. My husband says my independence is a lot of what he loves about me and he never expected me to change, my name or anything else. ;-)

I do not know how we will name our child(ren) when the time comes, and I'm really not worried about it. We've worked so long now to try to have children at all that I will be happy just to have them, regardless of what their names are.

The four members of my brother's family have three different names. She goes by her maiden name, her daughter goes by her ex-husband's name, and their daughter goes by his name. But they are nonetheless a family and have not had any confusion or trouble with schools or hospitals despite name variations.
N in azaleas

September 2009

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