Of last names and other drama

Want to read a chapter of Offbeat Bride? Indiebride.com is currently running an excerpt from the book, all about the agony of figuring out that whole "last name" thing.

Related post: Husbands changing their names.

  1. Thanks for this excerpt. As far as brides go, I was about as offbeat as they come (I wore black knee-high boots, got married in an adorable courthouse with 10 family members in tow, and carried orange gerbera daisies), but I did choose to take my husband's last name. His last name is easier to spell, easier to pronounce, and just sounds much better than my own. I also didn't feel particularly attached to my last name because it was my mostly-absentee father's name. I did, however, want to keep it as a second middle name, but found when I went to the DMV to get a new driver's license that their computer system will only take three names! I like my middle name (Rose) too much to give it up, so my father's name had to go. I was surprised at the identity crisis changing my name caused. I still have trouble recognizing my new name or remembering to use it. When I went to the bank to change my name on my account, I accidentally signed my old last name instead of my new one. It's strange to think, though, that in 28 years I will have had my new name longer than my old, and it will probably just seem like who I am.

  2. I just read the essay. Nope, even feminists can't write abot feminism without insulting it or referring to outdated stereotypes. Sad.

  3. Sorry you didn't enjoy the excerpt, Mimi. I'm open to talking with you more about the subject if you want to email me — but I hope we can avoid this comment thread becoming a debate about who can or can't write about feminism appropriately. There are plenty of other websites (I Blame The Patriarchy comes to mind) where one can debate who gives feminism a bad name — offbeatbride.com isn't intended to be one of them.

  4. Bruce is taking my last name, which is "Blessing". He wasn't really attached to his last name and (I'm sorry honey) Jezebel "Williams" isn't that exciting.

    I was very flattered when he chose to take my name. Since I'm not very close with the Blessing side of my family his decision feels more like an honor to me than to my family ties. I get the feeling he's actually excited about being "The Blessings". He already decorated our new mailbox with our name. :)

    One word of warning, women don't pay to have thier name changed after marriage, men do. In WA it's going to cost him $100 in filing fees and he has to go before a judge. If I took his name it would cost me nothing. Talk about lack of equality!

  5. The hardest thing for me in planning my wedding has been the name issue. When I mentioned to my parents I was thinking about changing to my husband's surname, they were disappointed, nay bitterly disappointment and hurt.
    Disappointment. The worst thing to do to a parent. How could I, THEIR daughter who they raised as a feminist, think about taking a man's name, lose my identity to a MAN. Interestingly, it is my Dad who is the most gutted. They keep wanting to open a 'dialogue on the issue' and try to understand my point of view. But it is a hard concept to grasp for them
    I have tried to explain that these days, woman have a CHOICE. We can choose to keep our own name, take his, hyphenate, merge the names, even make up a whole new team name. Apparently if I choose to take his name, its not really free choice, as the subconcious messages from society about woman needing to have their husband to form their identity that have got into my brain and formed my thoughts for me. So, while I think that I have free choice and have chosen to share his name because I really really like his name and like having the same name, in actuality I let the unconcious messages of society permeate my impressionable mind and am acting in a terribly unfeminine way.
    Isn't it strange, that for me, the HARDEST thing will be to share his name?

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