Monday, December 3, 2007

The Name Game

This New York Times article about name changes caught my eye, since it discusses the various combinations that individuals can do with their names. One couple interviewed for the article had an inter-family softball match to determine which last name! While I wouldn't want to leave such an important decision up to a ballgame, it is a pretty original way to resolve the (potential) issue.

Growing up, I always thought that I would assume the name of my (future) husband. While I liked my last name, it was one of those that are deceptively difficult to pronounce. One of my least favorite things in high school was the first day of school, where I would inevitably have at least 5 teachers mispronounce my name.

In college, however, things began to change. I became excited about my work, and presented some of my research at a professional conference. When Calvin and I started dating, it was a given that I would keep my last name. We tossed around the idea of somehow combining last names, or each taking the others' last as a second middle name (we still might do this, but for me it would be a second middle name, since my current middle name has a strong family history), but we knew that we would each be keeping our own names. For me, this doesn't so much hark back to the women as property days, but is a large part of who I am. I'm published under my own name. I've presented my work under my name. And I don't really want to change it.

The one thing that I am struggling with, however, is how to make sure that people know after we are married that I did not change my name. I'm not too concerned about my colleagues; in my department, it is far more unusual to change your name than it is to keep it. It's more the relatives and parents' friends that I am concerned about.

If you kept your name (or plan to), how did you let people know? Did you correct them, or just let it slide?


mnc said...

There is an onsite coordinator but she mostly makes sure things run smoothly the day of...
I'm almost certainly going to hire a day-of-coordinator, at least.
I just want to get all of the vendors--and as few as possible--figured out so I can move on!

R. Schreiber-Reis said...

I made sure that thank-yous had my full name, and I put my full name on all correspondence. I just let my family know, and they picked up on it pretty quickly- mostly because it was unusual to them, I believe. :o) If someone in public assumes that I am "Mrs. Husband's Name" I let it slide, because for me it's not a big deal in that type of setting. My husband's co-workers get it wrong all the time when they see me at my job, and my co-workers are the ones correcting them behind their backs! :o)