What’s in a name? For many vinas, a lot! According to NY Times data blog, The Upshot, women are keeping their maiden names more often than they used to be: “Roughly 20 percent of women married in recent years have kept their names according to a 2015 Google Consumer Survey.”
We all know that our name is something special. It’s what our parents give us moments after we’re born. A last name is part of our family lineage and can travel with us to the ends of time. It’s a namesake that father’s pass on to their sons.
And while many vinas are choosing to take their partner’s last name (which is obviously cool too!) here are the reasons why I won’t be changing my name when I say “I do.”
IT BELONGS TO ME
I like my last name. It’s 10 letters long. It’s Polish, which means I rarely find someone who pronounces it correctly. Is that what I like? The length? The challenge of the pronunciation? No. I like that it belongs to me and no one can take it away. No matter how many people have the same first name, I am one of the few that has this first and last.
I always believed that taking my (future) spouse’s last name would mean a portion of me would become disassociated with my family. I would become saddened thinking of not being labeled as my father’s daughter. Upon mentioning that, my dad would give a wise crack of, “Take your partner’s name! You’ll be someone else’s problem then.” The truth is, I liked being my dad’s problem. I liked knowing that my last name will forever be tied to the people who raised me, instilled my values, and molded my morals. I’m proud of who they’ve helped me become. Why would I want to pull apart the only public thing that links me to those two awesome people?
DIVORCE, SEPARATION, REMARRIAGE! OH MY!
Let’s face it: Divorce and separation are real things! Getting remarried can happen too (just look at eight-time-married Elizabeth Taylor)! It gets a vina thinking: keeping your maiden name may possibly be the easier option in the long run. Besides the cost of the legalities with divorce and separation, there’s also the social aspect. Explaining the name change to countless people can be hurtful or embarrassing. Disclosing a divorce to the public on social media or even to the window clerk at the DMV can bring up a set of uncomfortable emotions.
Take a moment to look at your signature. Reflect back on your childhood as far back as you can. That day you were named became the day you started forming an identity. You grew up learning the fundamentals of everyday life under the surname at birth.
Keeping your last name through marriage and life is not for everyone. For those of us that do, we have a strong emotional attachment and reasoning why we don’t let go. Sometimes holding on to your last name is all we have left.
Want to talk about this topic with some vinas? Start swiping!