Friday, August 10, 2012

What's in a Name?: A Ramble from MEMT

I'm kind of having an identity crisis. When I was little, I thought that when a girl got married, her name magically changed. I remember once seeing a book with my mom's maiden name in the front cover. It looked so weird, to think that my mom wasn't always a McFarland. McFarland was her last name on everything, and it seemed like it always had been. I knew of course that wasn't the case, but that's why I thought that one day you had your maiden name, and after the nuptials--tada! You have a new last name and everything is changed for you!

Not so.

I'm still a McFarland on pretty much everything. My library card, my driver's license, my bank account, email...

The long process of changing is annoying, but at least there's no deadline. But that's not the most annoying part! The worst is when people ask what my name is!

I stutter and look stupid as I pause and go through a million things in my head. If I'm buying something, I feel weird not using my maiden name because it's whats on my card, and I don't want them to think I'm stealing someone's card. If it's someone I'm meeting in our new neighborhood, I give Thornton as my last name, because eventually that's what my name will be and they'll know me as that longer. But I still have a hard time with that because my name isn't officially changed yet. Legally, I'm still Megan McFarland. Sometimes I know it's pertinent to give my new one, but they might not recognize who I am because they've heard of me with my old name. Then I'm always mumbling about how I just got married, and how I haven't changed my name yet legally, and it's weird.

If that paragraph was confusing, don't worry. I don't get it either. The point is that I'm confused. So I just choose to ramble on and try to make sense of this second last name nonsense. BTW, I'm adding his last name to mine. I'm not hyphenating, I'm just going to have four names. So my name will be really long. Maybe this is stupid. I don't know.



Barb said...

I wrote a very similar post almost 7 (wow!) years ago. It's so strange to change something as personal and integral to your identity as your name! And it's a giant pain in the bum. I feel ya, sister.

Sarah@The Best Stuff said...

Seeing as I got married 19 years ago...I didn't have to worry about things like email, FB, electronic stuff. Mostly just my drivers license and official crap like that. Sorry you have so much more stuff to deal with in this day and age!

But I too struggled with what to officially go by. I mean, of course I was going to take on my husband's last name. But I had been Sarah Ann Dalton for so long... well 19 years anyhow. hahaha :) And I was rather sad about the thought of leaving Dalton behind. I was hugely proud of my maiden name, my family, my Dalton roots. So I ended up changing my name to Sarah Dalton Croft on pretty much any and all things official. I more or less dumped Ann and use Dalton as my middle name. I don't hyphenate and I'm mostly known just as Sarah Croft....but as much as I possibly can, I add the Dalton in there. A Croft may be who I've become and who I am now. But a Dalton is how I was raised...and I don't ever want to forget that!!!

Jenna from Unencumbered Words said...

There's always the option of not changing your name. I only changed mine because people were always misspelling and mispronouncing my maiden name. It's a very normal thing now to just keep that old identity!