Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

What's in a name?

So the post-marriage question of the day:  will you be changing your name?

Let me preface this by saying I actually love my name, and was not in any hurry to give it up.  I love the uniqueness of it.  I love that it's short, and yet still most people can't pronounce it on the first try.  And, well, it's me.  It's been me for a very long time.  It flows when I have to sign it. 

But that being said, I pretty much always figured I'd take my husband's name when I married.  It was never really a question.  Until I fell in love with a Horsfall.  I mean really?  Of all the names, for a women who used to ride horses for a living *sigh*   But it is very important to Chris, and hardly fair for me to say I'd change my name but not to that one ;-P  So for everything except my writing, I'll be Lauren Horsfall from this point forward.  And should I ever switch writing genres, I have a handy pen name already set up ;)

Now the interesting part -- seeing people's reactions.  This actually surprised me a lot.  My family and friends, whatever they're internal reactions may be, have all portrayed a completely neutral response.  They're asking out of curiosity, but seemingly with no judgement.  This is what I expected.  What I didn't expect was the vehemence of some reactions.  On one side, there are those who seem to think if I *didn't* it was a huge insult to my husband and he must be less of a man somehow.  That this attitude still exists is fairly appalling to me.  And then there are those, particularly in the professional environment, who very much look down on me for taking his name.  To the point that it almost seems a potential career limiting move in some ways (caveat: my boss is awesome and it wouldn't be an issue in my job.  Although even he seemed surprised by the change.)  But I can tell you, I very quickly came to understand, faced with this, why so many women I know take their husband's name irl and keep their own at work.  Taking the name is seen as a quaint, old-fashioned, and certainly not a high-power career-woman thing to do.  So it's safest not to risk that at work.  Sad but true.  And if I'd been here for a long time already OR were planning to leave shortly, I might play that game.  Then when I moved I could start over with a new name and nobody'd know any different :)   BUT, I'm new here and I intend to stay so…  May as well take that hit while I'm still reasonably junior ;)   That's my theory anyways.

It was just one of those things that caught me totally by surprise.  I understand the "so what do you want us to call you now" question, but the rest was a bit of a shock.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it appears it'll be to get it changed once I have the marriage license from CR.  Of course now I've just jinxed myself and it will be a blog-worthy nightmare ;)  But Google combined with Ontario Govt website listed pretty clearly how it should work.  So stoked about that.  And if I do it within 90 days of the ceremony it's free ;)   That being said -- we're moving later this year, so I'll likely wait and do name and address change all at once.  A whole new person really ;)   Not the first time I've reinvented my life; just the first time with a new name *g*


Of course I'm the (complete!) opposite, always knew I would keep my name, until I fell in love with a Lumsden :), it's my name, just mumbled a little. Scott couldn't care either way, except he wanted our children to be Lumsdens. So I began to change over some accounts and cards - you're right, it's scary easy, (no wonder people can cover stuff up!) just a phone call in most cases, or directly on the computer. But it started to bug me pretty quickly... I'm Jennifer Lundgren, not Jennifer Lumsden (she lives in Hamilton and is married to Andrew!!). So back they were all changed. There was some concern about changing my passport and traveling alone with M, but like the email with the words all scrambled which you can read, most people read them as the same name... Really for me, it had nothing to do with social statements or politics or anything, my last name has been Lundgren my whole life, it's my name, being called anything else just didn't fit ;)


Kind of sad that it's even a issue. Congrats again.


Post a Comment