i’ll never be a ‘mrs.’

i decided ages and ages ago that i was probably never going to be a mrs.  actually, i think that should be my blog’s name, but i was told it comes off as sexual.  oh well.

i don’t know exactly why the very thought of being mrs. b makes me want to cringe, but it just does.

i’ve had quite a few conversations about this with other women in my life, and they’ve told me that some brides-to-be get really excited about changing their name and getting the ‘mrs.’ title and getting checks written to ‘mr. and mrs.’ and letters addressed the same way… etc.  i think that’s awesome –  sometimes i wish i would get that same sort of excitement about changing myself to have one more thing in common with my soon-to-be-husband…

but i guess i just don’t get it.

not that i don’t think marriage will change me, because it certainly will.  but, i don’t like the thought of taking what’s already established and making an overt effort to change it.

i can’t say i understand why people would get excited to go through a lot of paperwork and phone calls to change a name that they’ve had for 25+ years.  it seems like a lot of effort to change something that isn’t broken! to me, my name is me.  i would forever have to leave my maiden name on my resume because that’s how old employers would recognize me.  i’ve made great friends and have networked with my name.  race results are in my name… even though i didn’t break any records, i like that they’re recorded somewhere and can be googled.  think of how many cell phones my name is in… i can’t change all of that!  people know me as ME, and i take a lot of pride in (at least some!) of the reputation associated with my name.

but really, what bothers me about the whole thing is the  assumption by lots and lots of people that of course i’d change my name when/if i got married.  people are shocked when i say i’m not changing my name, although i’m sure most people didn’t find it that shocking, given my sometimes-liberal tendencies. even my lovely husband-to-be assumed i would change my name around the november 2012 time frame.  boy, was he surprised when i said ‘no way jose’ (accompanied by a long lecture and emailed articles about other women who didn’t change their name and why they made that decision.)

tim seems to think that we should have the same last name if we’re going to do this whole marriage thing.  i don’t really see how the two are related, other than lots of people feel the same way he does and so have changed their names so people can tell their related/married/maybe creating offspring together/etc.

well, i could respect that he wanted us to have the same name, and if it was important to him i thought i should think of a solution. so, i gave him the option to have the same name as me by changing HIS last name to mine.  i even said we could create a new name. new family, new name, right?  i thought that if he wanted to have the same name badly enough to change his, i could meet him halfway (and i knew he’d say no, so this was kind of an empty suggestion).

he laughed and immediately and as expected said ‘no.’

well, if he won’t even THINK of changing his name, i’m sure as hell not changing mine!  that logic ended the discussion, for now.

i’m actually excited to be married with different names! people will have to address all invitations/mail to each of us (i’ll get my own line if they use proper addressing etiquette!) instead of using the ‘mr. and mrs. tim b’ line.  while i understand some people love the love and relationship and oneness and maybe even unity that this way of addressing an invitation implies, it makes me annoyed.  i’ll take my own line, please and thank you.

also, how great it is that no one will be able to tell whether i’m married or not by my title of ‘ms’?!  it’s wonderful.  tim can keep his ‘mr’ and i can be ‘ms’ and we can leave strangers to wonder the nature of our relationship.  i like a little mystery in my life.

tim doesn’t necessarily agree with my thoughts on all of this, but we did compromise in a way: the dog has my name, the kids (if we are blessed enough to have them!) will have his.  and we’ll still be a family, even with different last names.

so what is the purpose of this mini-rant? well, even though i know post people don’t agree with me about this whole name-change business, i’m thankful, very thankful that i live in a time and place where i can make the decision to stay ms. s instead of becoming a bitter mrs. b.

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