Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Blogger By Any Other (Last) Name.....

With apologies to Billy Shakespeare. And (almost daily now) thanks to my blog pal DJan for giving me the idea for this topic.

I don't know who is responsible for the archaic tradition of women changing their last names, but I wish it had never gotten started. (I guess we are better off in some ways: Now Sally Jones gets to be Sally Smith, where she used to be Mrs. Sammy Smith and she lost both her first AND her last names.)

I liked my maiden name, Williams. I didn't much like being the last one who got called for anything in school, even behind Ronnie Wilkes, but I liked the name. I appreciated having ONE name that I didn't have to spell. When I got married the first time, though, I was so young (21) and stupid (duh) that I loved the novelty of changing my last name. (Told you I was stupid.) I must have thought it was so cool to change my social security card, driver's license, every credit card, bank account, stationery, everything. At least we didn't have email addresses to change back then.

So I became Brock. At least I moved to the beginning of the alphabet, but I was way past the point of having papers returned at that point.

When I married the second time, I should have returned to Williams and never looked back. (I should have skipped the second marriage altogether, but then I might not have met Hubby, so...)

My name became Tiller then. When I went through a bad spell of killing animals on my way to school (I cried for days over the dog, the deer did $2000 worth of damage to my van and ran off LAUGHING, and I swear that chicken committed suicide in front of my car), my high school students started calling me Killer Tiller. I kind of liked that, because most students who heard it didn't know about my animal killing habits and instead thought I was a killer of a teacher. Whatever works.

By the time Hubby and I married, I had come to the conclusion that changing one's name to match her spouse is a chauvinistic institution and I wished I could return to my maiden name. I was afraid, though, that Hubby would be insulted. If I had taken the last names of my other two husbands, why wouldn't I take his? At that point I think it might have been enough to cause some friction between us. If it happened now, I don't think he would care at all. But it's kind of late now to go back.

Katydid's divorce became final recently (after a six-year separation), and she returned to our maiden name. it made me a tiny bit jealous. Her first husband was also a Williams, so it was a LONG time before she ever had to change her last name anyway. Just to add to the confusion, our mother's first name is Carol, and our step-father's last name was Carroll. She still has to explain that one, and spell both names to boot.

My brother says he doesn't understand the fascination with our last name; I get the feeling he would change HIS name if he could.

Like several of the people who commented on DJan's post, I kept my maiden name as my middle name. At least I didn't have to give it up altogether.


Anonymous said...

Is it bad that I had to read this post a couple times before it all sank in and I understood?

DJan said...

I had one more husband than you did before I found The One. When I married my third husband, I was going through an identity crisis from so many name changes. I do like the idea of having your maiden name as your middle name so that it's not completely gone! I would have been Jan Stewart (Heath) (Splane) (Martinez) and it wouldn't have been nearly so traumatic!

sri said...
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Lilith said...

I love having my husband's last name. I didn't want a different name than our children. I don't find it archaic at all. It was my choice.

Now if he would have TOLD me i HAD to take his name that would have been a different story.

sri said...
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