Not until I was in college had I ever heard of a married couple sharing their last names. As in, both the wife and the husband hyphenating their last names to form sort of hybrid, law office sounding moniker.
You see, two professors at the college (now university) that I attended were married (at the time) and teaching within the same specialty, so I had classes with both of them. We’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. Adams-Johnson.
I remember being utterly confounded. “So, who was Adams and who was Johnson?? “Why did they do this combining of names?” “Isn’t that a lot to write out?”
But, this was college. It was new. Exciting. Free-thinking. Liberal, right?
Since college, I have yet to meet ONE other man who would be willing to shed his name OR blend it with his wife’s. (Strike that. I DO know someone down here who forwent his last name for his wife’s. I wonder if he might be a felon, though.)
Men who take on women’s last names creep me out. It seems wussy. (Gasp!) These are probably the same men who cry all the time? (I can’t tell you how much I enjoy making sweeping generalizations sometimes.)
In all seriousness through, it is far more palatable to hear that women change their last names in a marriage. I guess I’m old school? But then again, I have ZERO issues with women who KEEP their last name or chose to hyphenate. I just have a problem with men who hyphenate… or drop their last names.
When I married C., I chose to bless his family by accepting his last name. (You’re welcome.)
Here’s why I did it: I come from an uber-blended family. At any given time you could have called my childhood home, waited for the answering machine to click on and you would have heard a message that said, “Thank you for calling the X, Y and Z residence. Please leave your name and number…”
Yes, kids. That’s three last names in one house.
I chose to retire Kylee P. and become Kylee B. for the sake of family unity. I wanted nothing more than to have me, my husband, my kids (and my dogs) have the same last name. Old fashioned? Sure. Easier on the answering machine? Yes. Right for me? Absolutely.
Oddly enough, I apparently didn’t think this all the way through… In Mexico, Lila’s actually got two last names: first is Craig’s, then is mine. Looks like my goal for “family unity” didn’t quite work out. I guess I never factored in that whole “having a baby in Mexico thing.”
That said, where do YOU stand?
Are you married? If you were, what would you do?
Did you take on your husband’s/wife’s last name? Why or why not?
Did you hyphenate or change your middle name legally to be your maiden name?
If you’re a man, who reads my blog, and changed his name: you just won $50 to the charity of your choice.
P.S. When did we start using “first name” in place of “given name” and “last name” in place of “surname.” I sort of enjoy the older alternatives…