what’s in a name

I didn’t give much thought to whether or not I wanted to change my name before Andy and I got married, and then once we did I said, “Oh, I’ll probably do it,” and went ahead and signed the box attesting to such on our marriage application. But a week passed and then a month, and I never followed up. Why? I don’t know. Something about it just didn’t feel right. Andy didn’t have strong feelings about the matter either, which made it easier to just let it slide. “I’ll change my name when we have kids,” I finally declared, not thinking the whole us-having-kids thing would happen so quickly.

But, here we are, soon to have a kid. And so I find myself returning to the great name debate. I just can’t decide: should I or should I not change my last name?

In the should camp:

  • I like the idea of families having one common name, both for camaraderie and for convenience.
  • Andy’s last name comes far before mine in the alphabet; that’d sure be nice.
  • Even though Andy doesn’t have strong feelings about the matter, he’d prefer that I change it.
  • I would no longer mistakenly receive emails intended for a certain similarly-named Ambassador.

In the should not camp:

  • My sister and I grew up with a different last name than our mom, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
  • As irrational as it is, it kind of feels like getting rid of my current last name would be erasing my life and accomplishments from before.
  • In truth, I’ll miss the casual exchanges with said aforementioned similarly-named Ambassador.

Another complicating factor is that my middle name is a family name too, and I’m probably even more attached to it, so making my last name my middle name isn’t a great option. And I’m not a fan of hyphenation either, unfortunately.

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