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  • November 22, 2017, 06:27:53 PM

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Author Topic: Would this be an acceptable reply to assumptions about taking a married name?  (Read 35854 times)

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AliciaLynette

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I wonder, are the folks where each family member has an individual surname tolerant of those who literally can't keep up? Or are they snippy about it?

I know for a fact that my defective memory would never be able to keep 4 different surnames in the same household straight, especially if it were something very "lysdexic" like swapping the order of a hyphenated name. I have trouble calling my own 2 kids by the correct first names.

Hi, Mom!  One time, I got called the names of six cats, the dog, and my brother before my mom actually called me my own name  8)

When my dad found himself calling me by the name of the dog that had died three years before I was born (I was 8 or 9 at the time), he gave up and reverted to breed names plus descriptors for everyone (dog, cat, other cat, black cow, red cow, child, etc). Mum wasn't impressed, but as he said, with 3 daughters, lots of animals and too many hobbies, it was good if he remembered his own name!!
Children are natural mimics; they act like their parents in spite of every effort to teach them good manners.
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Browyn

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Make it a joke.  "I'm keeping my name."  Why? "I don't want to have to learn to spell LongGermanicLastName."

For those with the kid questions, just say "Well, if we have kids, they'll take my name, of course.  It's easier to spell!"

I found this approach worked best for me - although I was dealing with the flip side.  I got married at 37, and I have a professional career, and I changed my name.  All the reasonable explainations did no good, nor did not giving them any reason.  "I moved up in the alphabet and don't have to spell it for people" did :-)

lmyrs

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The only people who have cared, so far, that I didn't change my name have been: my DH's cousin who we see once a year, and the lady at the cable company  :o.  However, my MIL insists on sending all correspondance to: Mr & Mrs. [DH's First name] [DH's Last name], or my favorite: Dr. & Mrs. [DH's First name] [DH's last name].  Despite the fact that I am also a Dr (twice over actually), and she is aware that I didn't change my name.  For now I just silently get annoyed and roll with it.

My sister in law does this to us. I just don't open it. I leave it for DH since it's his name on the envelope. Hopefully, it's not important, because DH opens his mail every few months.

(And, I told all of the ILs that I don't open mail addressed to Mrs. DH because it's not me. So, SIL has no excuse.)

Ms_Cellany

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My birth name was "Melisandre Cellany Brown," as I was named after my father's godmother, "Melisandre Cellany." In the '80s, I legally dropped the last name to become "Melisandre Cellany" (partly because the name was much cooler than "Brown").

When The Sweetie and I got married, neither of us felt strongly about having the same name, plus I knew from experience that the paperwork is a hassle, so we kept our own names.

But our last names begin with the same letter. We joke that we sound like a law firm.
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Thipu1

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Niece was married for ten years and had two children before I learned that she kept her maiden name.  All this time, we'd been addressing cards and gifts to 'Jane and John (his last name).  That's perfectly fine and she never corrected us but we still felt slightly bad even though we honestly didn't know. 

Niece's maiden name is close to the name of an animal. Think 'Katz' or 'Foxx'.  I found a nice pair of earrings with her animal and we sent them to her with a little note of apology.  We received a  phone call of thanks and we had a good laugh about the long-standing misunderstanding.

Moral:  if you're keeping your maiden name, let people know because we want to do the right thing.

 

gellchom

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Niece was married for ten years and had two children before I learned that she kept her maiden name.  All this time, we'd been addressing cards and gifts to 'Jane and John (his last name).  That's perfectly fine and she never corrected us but we still felt slightly bad even though we honestly didn't know. 

Niece's maiden name is close to the name of an animal. Think 'Katz' or 'Foxx'.  I found a nice pair of earrings with her animal and we sent them to her with a little note of apology.  We received a  phone call of thanks and we had a good laugh about the long-standing misunderstanding.

Moral:  if you're keeping your maiden name, let people know because we want to do the right thing.
I agree.  Will you accept a "friendly amendment" to include those changing their names? 

I know you absolutely meant no offense.  But you made the assumption that your niece was changing her name.  That might've been a safe assumption prior to the 1970s or so, but even where it is less common to keep your own (I don't like the term "maiden"; it's inaccurate) it's not so unheard of as to justify the opposite assumption.  So I always ask. 

How do you think people should let people know?  I haven't seen an "at home" card in ... I am not sure I've ever seen one.

I didn't do anything special or formal.  Most people figure it out okay.  I'm surprised that in ten years you never saw your niece's name on any correspondence, birth announcements, thank you notes, etc., even if just part of the return address. 

I absolutely love your clever apology gift!  What a lovely gesture.

turnip

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My maiden name is clearly displayed on social media sites and in my email address.  Despite this I have ILs that continuously address me as <first name> <married name>.  I just laugh it off - they're set in their ways, I'm not going to change any minds.

However I'm frequently tempted to 'accidentally' address them as Mr. and Mrs. <her maiden name>.  "Oh, I'm sorry, it's so hard to keep track these days!" <smile>.

I wonder how they'd react.   ;-)

daen

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In my circles, I'm seeing couples "announce" their name choice by putting their contact information in the program or on a wedding favor (like a fridge magnet). On a program, it would be something like this:

Our New Address
Jane Johnson and Bill Brown
321 Main Street
Anytown, Province  X1X 1X1

(plus whatever email addresses and phone numbers you want to supply).


Lynn2000

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In my circles, I'm seeing couples "announce" their name choice by putting their contact information in the program or on a wedding favor (like a fridge magnet). On a program, it would be something like this:

Our New Address
Jane Johnson and Bill Brown
321 Main Street
Anytown, Province  X1X 1X1

(plus whatever email addresses and phone numbers you want to supply).

Yes, that's how I would do it. Something given/sent/announced around the time of the wedding, when it will be on people's minds. Also, I always double-check return address labels when I receive cards from people, to make sure I've been addressing them correctly.

If a lot of people are making the same assumption and it's never corrected, or only very subtly, I can see how it might be missed. I've also noticed that on social media/email, a lot of people don't put their "true, legal" name, so I don't go by that 100%. For example, one person I'm Facebook friends with goes by just her first and middle names there, as she doesn't want to be identified by her very unusual last name. Conversely, I know other people (women) who are on Facebook as Linda Brown Johnson, Brown being her birth name and Johnson her married name, so people who just know her as Linda Brown can still find her. But she doesn't go by "Linda Brown Johnson" in any other context, and it would be weird to address a card to her that way.
~Lynn2000

Danika

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When I got married (a decade ago), I was on the fence as to whether or not I should take DH's last name. So I did. And then for the first year we were married, every time I heard someone refer to me as my new name, or worse yet, when I had to call people and identify myself as my new name, I got sick to my stomach. Not because his name was bad but because I really identified with my maiden name. My first name (IRL, not Danika) is a very common name for my generation. In college, there were 8 of us on my floor of the dorm. So we all went by our last names. And that's what I was called for 4 years of undergrad and by my closest friends for years after that. I couldn't believe I had talked myself into moving that into the position of my middle name.

So, I legally changed my name again! Now, I have my maiden name back as my last name.

Mostly, I had originally taken DH's last name because I thought it would be easier for our children's teachers. But we didn't have children. So I'd done it for the convenience of teachers of hypothetical children who had not been conceived yet!!!

When I went back to my maiden name, I told myself that if we ever did have kids and their teachers got confused, they would be welcome to call me Mrs. DHsLastname if they wanted to. I don't really care what strangers call me. It's when I call people on the phone and identify myself, I want to say a name that I feel is *me*. I hadn't felt like *myself* for a full year because I'd changed my name.

The only people who have ever really commented on it were:

1) our realtor for our house who told DH that he didn't think I was fully committed to the marriage (at this point I was 8 months pregnant and we were buying our second home) because his first wife never took his last name and then she divorced him. It's worth noting that his second wife did take his last name, but she also divorced him.

2) my uncle's wife who is the only one in our family of that generation who hyphenated her name instead of taking her husband's last name. She told me I *should* take my husband's last name. I'm still trying to figure that hypocrisy out. I think she felt like she wanted to keep her maiden name but family twisted her arm and made her add her husband's last name, so she couldn't let another woman do what she didn't have the ability to do - resist pressure.

sulygirl, my personal responses to the questions you mentioned would be as follows:

"Oh, you will be a Mrs. Hislastname soon"
Me: "No, actually, I'm keeping my name." <- Statement. No JADEing. Totally flat tone without defensiveness or any other emotion.

"Well, what message does that send to his children?"
Me: "That we don't live in the 1800s and women can make their own choices."

"What about your children?"
Me: "They'll still be my children."

At this point, you'll know if you're talking to someone who is truly curious or who is just trying to be condescending. You don't need to keep engaging with someone who is being condescending. Just look unamused by anything they try to insult you with and don't engage further. Just excuse yourself and walk away.

CakeEater

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When I got married (a decade ago), I was on the fence as to whether or not I should take DH's last name. So I did. And then for the first year we were married, every time I heard someone refer to me as my new name, or worse yet, when I had to call people and identify myself as my new name, I got sick to my stomach. Not because his name was bad but because I really identified with my maiden name.

Isn't it funny how we're all different?

I thought I would find it hard to adjust to a new surname, but I didn't at all. I'm a teacher, so am referred to by my surname all day, every day at school. And I was completely used to being 'Mrs McGahan' rather than 'Miss Jones' in no time at all.

I think I mistakenly identified myself by my maiden name once, and that was it. Now I find using my maiden name for anything slightly odd.

Lynn2000

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I've no potential to make a change anytime soon, but I'm 98% certain I would change my name to my husband's. Probably the only thing that would stop me was if my future husband was very much against it. I think it would make me feel like we were united, and would be an outward symbol that something had really changed about me. That's very much my personal preference though; I tend to be a little more old-fashioned in my personal values and behaviors compared to my peers, but in many things I really don't care what other people do. With a name, just make it clear so I can address you properly!

I have a very common first and last name (I was just mixed up with other people named Lynn Miller the other day) and, although I like the anonymity they afford and would be pleased to change my name to something equally common (like Lynn Brown or Lynn Smith), I've always found it hard to be like, "Yeah, I'm a Miller!" Well, so are millions of other people, most of whom aren't related to me at all! I remember a long time ago, my dad and I were helping my older cousin (a Miller) move to college, and she confessed that she was "worried about letting down the Miller name." She was very sincere, and of course feeling nervous about this big change in her life; but I remember thinking that was one of the most bizarre things I'd ever heard a person say, because that consideration was entirely foreign to me.

I've never had strong group loyalty anyway, like to schools or the town where I grew up. I've been at my university for almost 20 years now, as a student and staff member, and I still don't own anything with the school logo or explicitly in the school colors. The idea of doing so actively turns me off, in fact.

I can see how I might feel differently if I had a much more distinct name. And obviously some people with common names (like my cousin) still identify strongly with them. I do like reading the different perspectives.
~Lynn2000

Diane AKA Traska

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gellchom

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I'm 98% certain I would change my name to my husband's....I think it would make me feel like we were united, and would be an outward symbol that something had really changed about me.

An excellent reason for your husband to take your name!  :)

Lynn2000

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I'm 98% certain I would change my name to my husband's....I think it would make me feel like we were united, and would be an outward symbol that something had really changed about me.

An excellent reason for your husband to take your name!  :)

Ha ha! :) I do sometimes "worry" about what if the last name is really awful (IMO)--something that sounds ugly or like a rude word, or just is hard for my mom to say, or sounds funny with my first name. Lynn Lin? I think of Lauren Bush Lauren... Who thought with the first name of Lauren, she would manage to meet and marry someone whose last name was Lauren?

That's really pretty low on my list of worries, though. ;)
~Lynn2000