What's in a name? A lot, it turns out. When I was deciding whether to take Lunchboy's last name (I am), it never occurred to me how much I had invested in my old last name until people started calling me something else. Suddenly being married felt very..all ecompassing. After all, I'd spent almost 32 years building an identity, an education, a career, a life around the person I was with my old last name. I make a couple of vows, put on a ring, and now I'm supposed to be someone new? I don't think that's the case, but that's kind of how it feels. There's also the issue of whether to keep the old name or whether to hyphenate, but my old last name always made people think I was Jewish and I'm not, so a fresh start is nice. Hyphenation works but seems to get complicated if kids enter the picture.
Quick aside: what's up with the term "maiden name"? Who are we kidding?
The truth is, marriage is a new start. We joined our lives together and I'm not the same person I was before, so I guess it's appropriate to have a new name to go along with the new life. That said, it still takes getting used to. In all the honeymoon advice we received, no one mentioned that taking off for a week or two is an excellent--and much needed--opportunity to stop doing a quadruple take every time someone calls you by a new last name. We still giggle a little whenever it happens. That and we do the Wonder Twins fist bonk with our rings. Shh.
The other thing no one tells you is that legally changing your name is a monumental pain in the ass. It is such a confusing, convoluted, red tape-laden process that I actually shelled out for something called the Bridal Name Change Kit from the Knot--and this is after I vowed never to buy anything from that site. I just want someone to tell me how to do this. Because getting used to being a Mrs. is where I'd rather put my energy.