Every now and then, I get asked why I didn’t change my last name when I got married. Some people are just so used to women changing their name that they can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t. But it was a pretty easy decision for me to make and Andrew to understand. Here are the few reasons why I didn’t change my last name. (If you are wondering what we will do when we have children, read about how we decided on our daughter’s last name.)
P.S. I think deciding on whether to change your name or not is a super personal decision. Everyone, man or woman, should have the option to decide what name they want after marriage.
For a long time, I always thought I would change my last name. I mean, that is what you are supposed to do, right? But once I was engaged and a new last name was staring me straight in the face, I began to feel differently. After mulling it over for a while, I broached the subject with Andrew. At first he was a little taken aback, but once I made it clear that it was a personal decision, he agreed that I should be able to choose my own last name. And that was that. (Funny enough, my brother was the one who took it the hardest. And my mother-in-law was convinced I would have to carry around my marriage certificate to prove we were married. So far so good, but if I need to, maybe I’ll make one of those pocket-sized laminated ones like the miniature diploma my high school included in case of educational emergencies.)
Now, I’m sure I have put my last name on this site or that someone could figure it out. But lets just say that it is unique. Like a somewhat unpronounceable, spelled weird, unique kind of name. And it flows with the rest of my name. (Obviously Mikki isn’t a super common name either.)
No offense to Andrew, but his last name is boring. His whole name is pretty white-bread suburban. That isn’t to say it is bad; it just fits in a way that my whole name fits. And neither meshes with the other last name.
My full name is on my birth certificate, driver’s license, college diploma, and teaching license. (Well, kind of on my birth certificate. I was born in a small hospital where usually 1 or 2 babies were born a day. When I was born, there were 12 babies born in 48 hours. So they were pretty busy trying to keep everything straight. My first birth certificate said I was a boy. The second one they spelled my last name wrong. Instead of getting a third one, they just crossed my last name off and wrote it the right way.)
I know I can change my name on everything but I didn’t want to. I liked keeping a consistent name, especially because it is a name I loved.
In this day and age, sharing a last name with your spouse or family isn’t a big deal. Andrew and I both know that we are happy and love each other even though we don’t have the same last name. It hasn’t really hindered us in any way. And because we both just continued on with our own last names, it isn’t weird. It is just more of the same.
Make sure you read about how we decided on our daughter’s last name.