Hello single and married ladies!
When you are getting married, you think about all sorts of things and the actual wedding takes up most of your thoughts. In these modern times, most people are already living together before the wedding, so the arguments and negotiations of where to put what and coming together for a decorative style is over (thank god).
But there are some things that don’t even cross your mind until you’re really close to THE BIG DAY. One of these things was the whole name change thing. SHOULD I TAKE HIS NAME???
Now, it was common sense for most women back in the day that you took the man’s name. For many women, just being a Mrs. Somebody was their goal in life. I don’t poo poo that. If you’re brought up that way or that’s what you want, then by all means, do it. For many, it’s a no-brainer and I envy them. What’s the big deal? They say. “It’s a sign that you really love him and want to be his wife,” they say. But I do not think it’s that easy and for me, this decision was a biggie.
Most women now, like myself, face a crossroads where your life as a single, career woman who knows who she is, meets up with this woman who has found love and is joining lives with someone. And there is an identity crisis. And for a lot of us, we have been single for a long time so who we are has been defined for quite some time. For 41 years, I have been me, and I am known to my friends, family, colleagues, the WORLD as my full given birth name. So to become someone else and have an entirely different name sounds crazy. Why would I want to be someone else at 41 years old??? I like my name. I like who I am. To be honest, my maiden name is a very old Bostonian name and carries a lot of history and I was always proud to have it.
One good thing in the whole name change dilemma thing is that my first name is so unique, I rarely even have to say my last name. I’m like Cher or Madonna. I just say “It’s Lindsley” and everyone knows who they are talking to. So at least I have that going for me.
So, what to do??? I knew my husband wanted me to take his name. I could keep my name and hyphenate but give me a break. A hyphenated name looks so pompous and all “I’m trying to prove something” and anyways, I barely have the patience to write my first name, let alone some newfangled ridiculously long two last names. Not for me.
I could keep my own name and have nothing to do with his but that just seems so cold, bra-burning, “I don’t need a man” kind of thing and that’s not me. I love my husband and am proud to be his wife. But I am still me. Oh what a dilemma!!
After much deliberation and discussions with friends and family (not his family- we KNOW what name they would choose!), I decided to take his name with my maiden name as my middle name, just in case I needed to go by my maiden name once in a while. I do like to be traditional in certain rituals and I think it is a nice joining of a couple. It was very strange signing the papers, like I was entering the Witness Protection Program. I then had to go through the whole process of changing all the ID documents – driver’s license, SS #, etc. I did find a way to retain my individuality however. I still use my maiden name on all my correspondence for work. I even have separate notecards for that and have a secret pleasure when I write a note still using my maiden name. Just goes to show you, you can have it both ways.
Sometimes, when I make a dinner reservation, I use my maiden name, sometimes my married name. My hair salon, manicurist and dentist still know me by my maiden name. On our honeymoon, they kept calling my husband Mr. Lowell because my father’s travel agent had made some of the reservations. I thought that was hilarious and suggested that my husband change HIS name. He didn’t.
Today, I am proud to be Lindsley Lowell Monfort.