Or, “Why I Don’t Get The Name-Change Debate.”
I debated posting this all afternoon, but thought, what the hell. I know that we are a bunch of intelligent, respectful women who can have an honest discussion without being rude or snarky. 🙂 All of the wedding bloggers and readers I have encountered have been just great, so I want to first give a shout-out to all of you for being smart, talented women.
I am taking Dr. Groomy’s last name, for a variety of reasons. Because I know some of you may be curious, I’ll share a few with you: I am pretty traditional. This is how it is done in both of our families. I am excited to share a last name with him—it helps make our “family” seem more real than if I kept my own name.
Remember that Sex and the City episode that spawned the book and then the movie He’s Just Not That Into You? You know, the one where Miranda asks Carrie’s current love interest to help her analyze the latest man behavior she’s encountered and Berger tells Miranda, “He’s just not that into you.” This is how I feel about the Name-Change Debate. Basically, I’m just not that into it because I honestly feel that it’s NOT that big of a deal. Why? Because I feel that no matter how much you think it matters, no matter how much you think your name is tied to your identity, in the real world, it’s not that big of a deal. Other people around you do not think it’s that big of a deal. Your last name does not make you the person you are. YOU make you who you are, and people are either going to love you or hate you based on a multitude of reasons. Your last name is not one of them.
I am many things. Among them, a woman of German/Irish heritage, an American, a business manager, a dance teacher, a sister, a daughter, a fiancée, a friend, an avid reader, a wedding blogger, a runner, a…you get the idea. None of these things is tied to my last name. Not even my heritage: My Irish and German heritage is very much a part of who I am—I have read about both histories, we go to IrishFest and GermanFest every year, etc. My last name is very Irish. But here’s the thing: I know I am Irish and German. Other people know I am Irish and German and they also know that I am proud of my heritage. Regardless of my last name, I will continue to be of Irish and German descent. I don’t need to keep my last name to know or prove that.
Wait! Before you amble off to the comments to yell at me about how unique, interesting, last-of-the-family-line, “insert your own adjective here” your name is, please hear me out. This is the part where I tell you that although I feel this way, YOU don’t have to feel the same way as me. I personally don’t get what the big freakin’ deal is, but I do know that for some of you it IS a huge deal. And I want to make it very clear that I respect that. For some people, it is a big thing, and I will not judge you for it. I will NEVER tell you the choice you’re making is right or wrong, because it’s just that: your choice. For me, it was never a question, so I don’t know or understand what it’s like to honestly debate this internally and externally with yourself, your fiancé, and your family and friends. The reason for this post is that I feel like we so rarely hear from wedding bloggers who are keeping their names anymore. All we ever hear in this Name-Change Debate is about what a heart-wrenching, life-changing decision this is. I’m sorry, but I don’t think that’s so. Getting married? Life-changing decision. Buying a house? Life-changing decision. Having a baby? Life-changing decision. Switching careers? Going back to school? Moving to Europe? All life-changing decisions. In the grand scheme of things, changing or not changing your last name really isn’t going to change YOU, as a person, at all.
I hate to keep repeating myself, but I want to make this very clear: I respect and understand that for some of you, it is a big deal. I liken the Name-Change Debate to the Twilight phenomenon. Some people just don’t get it. The Name-Change Debate is something that I just don’t get. That doesn’t make me bad, or snarky, or anti-feminist. Above all, I agree with Miss Cola of Weddingbee, who hit the nail on the head in one of her latest posts. To paraphrase, she says the following: “You know, I don’t really like that just about every wedding blogger feels the need to touch on if they will or will not be changing their name when they get married. It’s not the topic that I’m not a fan of, it’s the need to justify their decision, and then even after justifying it, usually they get tons of comments saying their choice is wrong, even though it’s ultimately THEIR choice.”
I completely agree. If you don’t want to take your husband’s name, then don’t! And if you do, then you do. It’s as simple—and as personal!—as that.
So there it is: Little Miss Wedding Planner’s turn to weigh in on what I’m doing with my name and why I don’t get the Name-Change Debate.
What are your thoughts on the Name-Change Debate? (This goes without saying, but please be respectful in your comments!)