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The name game

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

According to my girl Martha Stewart and her fabulous planning tools, I have 200 days left of being an unmarried woman. Hoooo, doggies. 200 days until I'm a wife. I don't
think I enjoy the word "wife". Is that a bad sign? JUST KIDDING, PETER!

I have been giving a lot of thought as to whether or not I'll change my last name after the big knot-tying. To tell the truth, I'm still swinging back and forth more than Lindsay Lohan's sexual orientation.

As a kid, growing up with a last name that starts with "W" sucked. I was always near the end of the class on roll call. Anything that involved alphabetical order meant I'd be waiting and waiting, and I've never been patient, even as a kindergartener. I remember vowing to marry someone whose last name started with A--preferably two A's (Aardvark??)--so I'd move to the top of all alphabetical lists.

Then, I decided I'd change my name only if my future husband had a really cool last name, like Van der Somethingeuropean, or a really porn-star-ish name...something so dirty that no one would ever forget it. Of course, I never really figured I'd get married, so I didn't expect to have to actually consider this in any seriousness.

I have given it a bunch of thought and I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep my last name for several reasons:

-I've always been Amy Wheaton. It would be weird to suddenly, after 27 years, have a new name. I'd have to get used to writing and saying Amy Hubbyslastname, and it would be weird and awkward and I'd have to titter like a moron and coo, "Oh well, I just got married and, hee hee, I don't really know what my name is anymore!" And then the lady at the bank says "OHHHHHHH, WHEN ARE YOU PLANNING TO HAVE CHILDREN??" And then I punch her in the neck and go to jail, H2B starts having an affair with the pharmacist's assistant, and *poof* the marriage is kaput and we're just another statistic. WOMP WOMMMMMMP.

-There's mucho paperwork involved in name changing, and I hate the DMV and other associated torture chambers with the passion of 1,000 fiery suns. Plus I'm guaranteed to forget one crucial piece of documentation which will probably result in me not getting my tax return money back or some manner of identity theft or something equally horrendous.

-"People know me". That's a bit of a joke, but a little bit serious too. Having to explain myself every time I ran into an old friend or acquaintance, former coworker or client, industry folks, etc. would get old quickly. If I'm having to reintroduce myself with my old name all the time anyway, why not make it easier for everyone and keep it as is?

So, as of today (and I'll probably change my mind 2,000 times in the next 200 days) I think I'll stick with the status quo. It's not for any feminist reason, it's not because I feel the need to diss tradition or because I don't think H2B has a lovely and suitable last name. Right now I'm thinking purely from a functionality point of view. Does it make sense to take on this new persona after I've made it 27 years just fine with the name my parents gave me? What's in it for me? A new sticker to go over my driver's license information and a lot of confusion. I'm OK with Amy Wheaton. I think she can stick around even after we've tied the proverbial knot.

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  1. haha I enjoyed this post. I go back and forth about the same thing- and I'm not even engaged! I think that the right decision is whatever you think the right decision is :)

    And, your anecdote about the bank teller made me laugh out loud. The law should wave physical abuse charges on those who react to that question...

  2. I'd like to change my name to his last name. Just makes things easier instead of them having to remember my old name.

    But keeping my old name would be handy if people knew me by that name at work only and my business is built around it. If it's just because of life, forget it. I'll change it.

    The only thing is to NOT hyphenate. I hate hyphenated names.. like "Wheaton-Scott".

    Or a hybrid of Wheaott or something weird.


  3. Like you said, you've always been this one person and all of a sudden changing your name is almost like turning into a different person.

  4. Thank you all for your feedback :D Sarah, believe it or not I already have people asking me when I'm going to have kids and telling me that "it's easier on the body the younger you are"...riiiight...

    @FB the hybrid name thing is just weird! I considered hyphenating for a little bit but it would be quite the mouthful.

    @Dutchess that's exactly how I feel. It would be really odd to suddenly start introducing myself as something else, signing a different name, seeing a different name on my mail and my accounts...it gets stranger the more I think about it.

  5. I changed my name and it was pain in the arse! lol I changed it on my social and then forgot to change it on my license for 9 months. Yeah, and the only reason I remembered then was because I got pulled over and the officer informed me that he could give me a ticket for it. I didn't like my last name or I would have just kept mine too. It's less of a hastle.