A New Chapter

Sure, most would say that committing out loud in front of family and friends to love, honor, and cherish one another til death do us part is a pretty big "new life chapter" signal. And I do agree. But you know what really brought it home for me? Filling out a little form called SS-5: "Application for a Social Security Card". ie. changing my last name.

I've spent a great deal of time over the past year thinking about this issue. And I went back and forth on what I thought I wanted to do several times. On the one hand, I felt so tied to my birth name - more specifically, the feeling it gave me of connection to my birth family. With both my parents deceased, there was a part of me that felt keeping my name would keep me tied to them. Plus, throw on top of that the feminist argument raging around in my head asking "why does the woman have to make the change?" I don't think I really need to go into too much detail here on that argument, because I'm pretty certain anyone reading this blog has had a similar debate at one point or another and are familiar with where I'd go with that one...

Then of course there's the whole hyphen two name solution. This was actually Andrew's favored solution. But even for as much as we kept coming back to it - it just didn't feel right to me. And when he pressed me to explain why I didn't want to have both, when that seemed the perfect solution to all my wavering...I simply knew that this was one of those "wedding/marriage" aspects that I fell into the traditionalist category.

And that really shocked me. And it still does. I officially changed it and am now known to the US Government (and my work) as Mrs. Marrvelous. And yet, it is still so incredibly strange to me. Seeing my new name on my work email makes me do a double take. I tried to tag a photo on Facebook and typed in my maiden name and when "I" didn't pop up anymore wondered "What the hell! where am I!?" until it dawned on me, oh yeah - that name no longer exists. And all of those tiny moments of confusion continue to hit me with the enormity of this change (at least for me) and each time I'm left wondering again, so why did I change it?

Now after breaking down and telling you how I got teary eyed filling out the social security application...I do want to say that for every moment of sadness I feel when it dawns on me that the old name is out, I have ten moments of happiness thinking about creating this new family with Mr. Marrv. I know my brothers and sister are still just that...whether we share a last name or not. And I love the connection I now have with my parents in law.

So for those of you who have gone this path before me, it becomes more comfortable, right? And am I the only one who instantly feels 10 years older being called a "mrs"?


  1. My current plan is to not change my name, for the same reasons you give here. My parents are dead and my sister changed her name, and I hate the idea of leaving my brother the last Hitchcock.

    But if I could convince Collin, I'd seriously consider changing my real last name to Hitchdied.

  2. It is such a tough thing but, I think the best decision is the one that feels right.

  3. I think it's one of those things that you'll adjust to, especially if you went with what you felt in your gut.

    Right now I'm dealing w/ the sorting out what is my gut, what is society, what is me thinking someone wants me to do.

  4. yeah im with you. this actually came up recently because we had some more govt type paperwork to fill out and some had my maiden name, some my new name. and i realized, "wow. that's right. i changed my name over a year ago." i've pretty comfortably settled into "mrs." and it's surprising, considering some of the turmoil i went through this time last year.

    i still use my old name when i feel like it, though. it may not legally exist any more, but i feel like it will always be mine. i've added to, not replaced, that piece of me.

  5. I'm keeping my name this time. I was so happy to get it back after my divorce, and it was such a pain to get all of the paperwork done (everywhere), that I just can't stand the idea of changing it again.

    It's who I am.