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Should I change my surname?

Lauri Lintott llintott at acs.ucalgary.ca
Thu Feb 9 14:29:11 EST 1995

Beth Shuster (eoshuster at UCDAVIS.EDU) wrote:
: On 2/7, Deborah Merriam wrote:
: >I am getting married this coming summer, and I'm trying to decide whether
: >to keep by birth name as-is or take my beloved's surname.
: (snip)
: >As I see it, my options are:
: >1 - keep my current surname for all purposes
: >2 - change my surname to coincide with my beloved's (and keep my maiden
: >name as a new middle name, if I choose)
: >3 - keep my name for business purposes, and use his for personal purposes
: >4 - hyphenate (an excellent idea except that our surnames sound hideous
: >together ;-)
: >5 - have *him* take *my* surname (but he has some publications, too)
: >6 - make up our own surname (cute idea, but completely

Dear Beth,
I presonally decided long before I married that the practice of changing
ones last name was ridiculous.  To me it seemed like changing my
name when I got married was saying that I had no identity untill
I got married and that anything I had done before I married was
unimportant.  Even if  I hadn't published I had still
accomplished many things, won scholarships, had jobs, recieved a
BSc.  All these things would no longer be tied to me unless I
pointed out that this was my name before I married.  Your last
name is a code which ties everything you have ever done to you.
It is also more then that in a way I find hard to explain in
words.  All I know is that several of my friends who did change
their names suffered identity crises, often feeling they no
longer had their own identity.
	As for problems explaining that my husband and I don't have the
same last name, I don't.  With the number of divorces,
remarriages and cohabitations these days I find that Banks, ect.
just take the information and don't raise an eyebrow.  I have had
a number of comments from friends, relatives and aquaintances,
 like why get married if you are not changing your name - but 
if thats what they think marriage is about it's their problem. 
When I introduce my husband I just introduce him by his first 
and last name.  Most people catch on right away.
	Anyway this is a topic that I feel strongly about but the
important thing is that you do what you feel is right.  Remember
you can always change it back later if its not working for you.


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