Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's in a Name? Really.

For as long as I can remember I swore that I would never change my name. Even as a young child, I was not interested in getting married and becoming Mrs. Whoeverstein. I would doodle my name and the my boyfriend's name. I would put hearts all around it but I never was one to write Mrs. Christine Whoeverstein. It always seemed like it was an odd tradition. Just because I wanted to be with this one person as my partner for the rest of my life, why did it have to mean that I had to alter my identity simply because I was the woman? What sort of hyper anti-feminist cultural norm has been imposed on us? And another thing, this tradition only exists in the United States. Most other countries allow you, matter fact expect you, to keep your name and add your husband's to the trail of additional names you already have. For example, my mom should be Doraida G. Garcells Canales  de Ortega. She came to this country and they cut most of the middle part out. Perhaps some of my resolute about this comes from her, who still after 35 years complains about how these people took her name.

For me there is suddenly a game changer: the Baby Girl, who is the size of an ear of corn today! I have been thinking more and more about adding Eliot's name formally. I have never minded being called the Gaurkees or Mrs. Gaurkee but I just never really considered changing my name. Now mind you, this is one of those moments that not having a middle name comes in handy because certainly hyphenate or something would be the preference. Of course our child will have Eliot's last name, I suppose I kinda want to join the posse. Is it that big of a deal? Is it really that much better or easier if everyone has the same name?


  1. Rebecca Burnett :)May 18, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    as a child of a parent with a different last name than me (my mom has been remarried twice, so make that 2 different last names!), it was certainly a minor discomfort. Teachers specifically, but my friends parents, doctors offices, and soccer coaches certainly had slip ups with who exactly was my parent. I can't tell you how many times I, as a child, was asked by an adult what to call my mom. Just another reminder that I was different from her. Granted this situation is slightly different, because my parents were divorced and their last names were different for that negative reason, but this can be generalized to you......

    On the other note, I was also against becoming Mrs. Whoeverstein, but did it only when we began the house purchasing process and it just made things easier. But honestly, 6 months later (and it took the whole 6 months for it to not sound surreal and just plain silly!!!!!) I have more than embraced my new name and take pleasure in hearing someone call me Mrs. Burnett :)

    Just food for thought Mrs. Whoeverstein! (You know, that has a nice ring to it......)

  2. It could be worse. In Victorian England you might have signed a letter as:

    Eliot Guarkee (Mrs.)