Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sarah by any other name

I have thought extensively about taking Rob's name when we get married. I have written it on napkins and post-its, said it out loud, carved it into wet cement late at night when no one was looking, scrambling away when I heard the police sirens rounding the corner, so fearful was I that they would find out where I had hidden the drug money...wait, movie. But I did recently write it several times on a post-it.

Here's the thing. It looks like someone else's name. And I guess that's the point. We're embarking on this new life together, a new family. But how come I have to change my entire name when all Rob has to change is his habits, his bedtime, and his diet?

Some time ago, shortly after we got engaged, I polled 5 of my unmarried girlfriends to get their take on the issue. I asked them if they would change their names and if it would be an easy decision, one requiring some thought, or one requiring a lot of thought.

Considering this obviously representative sample (of women between the ages of 25-31 with whom I have gotten drunk more than ten times), I was surprised by the unanimity of the responses.

Friend one: will change name, requires some thought
Friend two: will change name, easy decision
Friend three: will probably change name, amount of thought depends on what the name is (Friend three is still a bit traumatized after dating a guy with the last name Dworkbinder.)
Friend four: will change name, easy decision
Friend five: still owes me an answer and this was at least 7 months ago. Dude.

For me, it took a great deal of thought, but ultimately I have decided not to change my name. And Rob has decided not to change his habits. We're both happy.

8 comments:

Jay Nicolosi said...

Whatever you decide, it's the right decision...

One other thing to consider is your (potential) children's last name. Will it be confusing to them, their school teachers, etc. if they have a different name than their mother? Should they get a hyphen? Again, no right answer, just a kinda sub-thought.

Amy and I considered smooshing our names together, but then we couldn't agree on Laverosi or Nicolav. Obviously, we both want first billing.

Sarah said...

Definitely a big consideration. Have you decided what the baby's last name will be??

Colleen Snell said...

A friend of mine told a story about a guy she knew and his fiancee made him add Rachel (her first name) to his first name, so his name was Rachel John Doe, and hers was Rachel Smith Doe. They were the Rachels. I think it even got press because she's a feminist writer. Odd, but you could consider pressing Rob to become Sarah Rob, and then he could keep his bedtime?

Nina said...

Oh the name change question. . . you can escape the "big" wedding, but not this one. I used to work with a woman who changed her name to "Allcock"- now that's love. . . I've chosen to happily remain amongst the million "patel"s in the world. We even have a song named after us, the "patel rap"- now who could give up that?

Sarah said...

Sarah Rob...I love it. I'll bring it up tonight and may share the results of that.

I will also be requesting a demo of the Patel rap...so just be ready for that, Nina.

Joe said...

Some random thoughts: When vandalizing a sidewalk, don't do it with your name...too easy to trace.

Jay, I'm pretty sure Nicolav Laverosi was a spell used by Hermione Granger to levitate Russian kids.

I could have a grandchild named Henrietta Coglianese-Goulding. Just rolls off the tongue.

Elizabeth said...

Which of those five friends was I? I need to remember if I am changing my name some day or not and how much thought I was planning on giving it.

kathieshoop said...

Well, I got married 12 years ago and it took several before I stopped putting my maiden name (now my middle name) on correspond. phone call messages, etc. It is very strange to change your name. I did feel like I was losing my identity--not in the shape my actual life took, but on paper, when someone calls your name. My sister kept hers. I knew I wanted to change mine, but it was strange...Most people I know did not have a problem with it at all. But then again, we had separate bank accounts until the birth of our first child--when I cut way back on work.