A rose by an other name


I ran across this story on the web today;  it's a blog from a newly married couple recording her struggle about changing her last name upon marrying.

I have to admit, it was a bit of a struggle for me as well.  It wasn't that I didn't like Dear Husband's name.  In fact, I thought it would be nice to have a simple last name after years of hearing my surname mangled by people.  It wasn't a feminist thing, either.

What was a struggle for me was that my name held such strong identity for me.  In the late '70s, when the book and mini-series "Roots" was popular, my dad got hooked on geneology.  For years, it was a passion of his.  It grew to the point where he was hauling us off to huge family geneological society meetings all over the map.  Not exactly a great vacation from a teen point of view, but even my sister and I had to admit that it was pretty cool that one of our ancestors helped settle the city of Montreal, that our family had a Mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and the city named a park after us.  As teens, we weren't all that excited about a workshop on the family history in the Dakotas, but shopping in Toronto was a decent trade-off.

In a way, I felt like I was abandoning all that should I give up my name when I got married.  I finally decided to keep my name.  I didn't hyphenate;  that would be too long and clunky.  I don't use it professionally.  About the only time I use my "maiden" name now is when I write.  It is my own little salute to my dad:  a private 'thank you' for sharing such an interesting heritage with me, even when I didn't really care too much.  Thanks, Dad, for giving me a name to live up to.

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