Friday, June 5, 2009

Maiden name vs married name

Recently, one of my childhood friends got married. That may or may not have spawned this rant. Anyway, the point is she became Mrs. Smith (yes, her actual married name is Smith) from Miss Jones (Not her real name. Fooled ya, didn't I?)

Every time I see her new name pop up on Facebook feed, its odd. Not bad, mind you, just odd. Its going to take some getting used to. I knew her as Jones for almost 22 years, and now she's Smith. This same topic was mentioned when a bunch of my friends were out together, which earned us a rant from a feminist about changing your name, losing your identity and basically bowing to Da Man. (Those are the type of feminists I hate, man. The ones that butt into your business when you're talking about someone they don't know).

I've never understood the anger over married names, or the dropping of a maiden name. Just because you change from Miss to Mrs doesn't mean you lose yourself. It doesn't mean you have to give up everything you made for yourself in your single days. It just means you got married, and now you and your husband (and potential future children) are a team. Your parents and siblings, while still your family, are not immediate anymore. Your husband is. And if we want to use a sports metaphor, you have to wear the same jersey to play on the same team.

I understand there are some exceptions to this rule, like famous personalities (who often change husbands as much as they change their thongs) and don't want to mess around with their name too much, but you'd be surprised to find that many of them legally have their husband's last name and only use their maiden name for stage. But I do understand that some career paths are easier to maintain without changing one's name.

In my case, I will be changing my last name to my (future) husband's name, should I get married. I want to be a very obvious family unit with myself, my husband and my kids all sharing a last name. I want to be proud to play on that "team" and wear my jersey, and I know that just because my last name changes, it doesn't mean that who I am as a person changes. Yes, my role will shift from daughter to wife, and one day mother, but that's natural progression of life.

One day, I'll wear my "Mrs" moniker with pride. How about you?


bethany actually said...

Yep, I changed my name when I got married. Something I wish I'd done that I didn't, though, was just add my new last name onto my old one, so that my maiden name would have become like a second middle name, like this: Bethany Ann Maidenname Marriedname. I have friends who have done that and I think it's cool they still have both names in their legal name, even though for most things they just use Mrs. Marriedname or Firstname Lastname.

The Grown Up Teenager said...

@bethanyactually I've thought about doing that myself but for me, it would be suicide. I've already got 2 middle names, so I'd be dealing with: First-name, Middle-name, Second-middle-name, Maiden-name, Married-name.

So for me, it is way too darn long, although it's a cool idea for people with nice short middle names like Ann. ;)