Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What's In a Name?

Would a belly dancer by any other name smell as sweet? Don't answer that.

I never gave much thought to changing my name after I was married.
Women taking their husbands' last names seemed like an outdated tradition to me, much like the garter toss. Unless you plan to have kids, then I could see how it's necessary (the name change, that is, not the garter toss. Although I could see how the latter could lead to having kids).

But I knew I didn't want kids, aside from the furry four-legged kind, and we've hyphenated our last names for the cats. ;-)

Is it equitable for the bride to give up the last name she's had her entire life? Who made this rule up? And, let's face it, hyphenated last names can be unwieldy. I've heard of couples making up a new name together and taking that one, and while I appreciate the spirit of that idea, in reality I think it wouldn't go so well.

I offered to trade last names with Mr. T, just to make it fair, but he turned me down.

So anyway, I wasn't going to change my last name, but to my surprise Mr. T seems to want me to take his name. He hasn't really asked for much in all of this; I've heard a lot of "whatever you want," and "if it makes you happy," which he truly means; he's not just saying it to get me to leave him alone. I think. So hearing him ask for something made me take it seriously.

Although Mr. T prefaced the name conversation with saying of course it's up to me, etc., he is a bit of a traditionalist at heart and it came out that part of what "family" means to him is being "Mr. and Mrs. T"*.

So I'm thinking about changing my name now.

His name is more pronounce-able than mine, which is a plus.

There would be so many things to change: work stuff, bills, credit cards, social security card, driver's license...the list goes on and on. But you know what was making me hesitate the most? My email address!

Yes, my current email address is If I change my last name, does that mean I need a new email address? I think it does.

I have to confess that I'm an email packrat. Thanks to my current email provider, I've got all my email labeled and archived, and it's all easily searchable. If I change my email address, what about those archived emails?

This is all very silly stuff to be worried about, but it's been on my mind. Anyway, I have a year and a half to decide, right?

*Note: Not his real last name.

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