When I got married almost 9 months ago now, I chose to take my husbands last name. I had always assumed that when I got married my name would change to my husbands. In the beginning when I did change it after my wedding, it made things easier. When making phone calls on our behalf, it was much easy to do things when our names were the same. For example, simple confirming a doctors appointment in the USA was very difficult when we had different last names. And when I went back to school this September and had to fill out those bubble sheets for exams, my name was 6 letters shorter! (my maiden name was 10 letters long, my husbands name is 4 letters long). But when I thought of going back to work, I started to face and feel identity issues. Most people that I contacted in the job world knew me by my maiden name, and it takes people a while to catch on. I remember emailing my brother a month or so after my wedding, the name on the email was my new last name. He goes upstairs and says to my Mom “someone emailed me called”….they both sat there wondering who I was, until it finally dawned on them!
I recently started a new job, which is going pretty good thus far by the way, the people are great, and I think I can really develop in it. I filled out my forms for my new position with both of our last names hyphenated. Yes I know that makes it for a really LONG last name. But I did not want to use only my maiden name, and I did not only want to use my married name, so I stuck them together! BUT, (yes there is a but), I had given them my resume with my married name, and was coming to them with my forms with both names. I arrived on my first day and most things were set up with my double barreled name. One of my superiors came to me and asked, so do you want this double barreled name or just your married name? I was feeling uneasy about my decision anyway, thinking it made for a really long last name, and perhaps would complicate things. The thing is I am was not really ready to give up my past experience in the work world, which felt like I was doing by just using my married name. It is something that I have worked for, and by giving it up, feels like I am erasing it. So I hum and hawed, and made an ill attempt to explain my identity issues. Finally said “okay, yeah just my married name is fine”. I was thinking she would not be asking me unless it would make things easier. Once I said yes she said, oh yea that IS easier. But I ONLY made this decision based on their explanation that it only took the systems a couple days to catch up. Because my email etc, was already set up with my double-barrelled last name. So I thought well the shorter last name is easier, and people will not have a chance to get used to my double barreled last name, so it will not cause any issues.
End of my week at work yesterday. The email that was sent on Monday to change my name we have not heard back from. My boss boss has mentioned a couple times, asking which name are you sticking with. I have explained that we are still waiting. Yesterday he mentioned it to me again that my name needs to be changed so we can get people consistently contacting me, and not being confused. Which I totally agree. So this identity crisis of mine, which I was hoping to avoid has become a little bit of a problem.
I wrote the above post a little while ago, and took it down for Lloyd and I to discuss.
I am now my married name at work. There are some things that have not been changed but for the most part they have changed to my married name.
My grandmother and my names were identical before I got married. We also look a little alike in her younger photos, down to how she poses. This is a grandmother I have never met, she died before my Dad met my Mom. Perhaps one day I will take my maiden name as my middle one. Or perhaps I will make it a middle name for my children. Who knows until then.