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Friday, February 4, 2011

My name.

(This is me ranting at work at 7:00pm by the way.)

You know how a lot of girls (or should I say women :) get married and change their name on facebook to "Jane Smith Jones" showing their new middle (i.e., maiden) name and then last name. I am not that person. I do not have a middle name period.

When Ryan and I got married, it was a really difficult about what to do about my name. Ryan was supportive of whatever I wanted to do, but it was still extremely difficult. So difficult in fact that a lot of tears were shed about it and I went to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to change it without knowing what I was going to do. 

We got to the SSA and the guy said I could take Ryan's name, he could take mine, we could hyphenate, or we could chose any name from here to Timbuktu. The first was out. The second was out. The hyphen was out (because I was not going to have that stigma). And the final option was out because we weren't just going to change it. 

Then, the SSA guy said the magic phrase. "You don't have to have a hyphen." What!? No hyphen, just both last names and a space. Perfect. And, that was that. 

The only downside, is I'm not just one. I'm both. My identify is the two. But, I chose to go by the two professionally and I go by the one at church. It sounds simple, right? Wrong. It drives me crazy when people at work, school, or friends and family from life call me by just one. I guess it's the assumption that I am that "Jane (Smith) Jones". 

Even more frustrating is when people keep asking questions about why. Why not? I was one before I was the other, but I am both. It is my identity. My whole identity. The "me" and the "us", and I will forever be grateful for a husband who was not only understanding but supportive. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I've said it once, but I'll say it again, he's a keeper. 


Andrea said...

Interesting. I like hearing about the origin of names. I was given no middle name at birth. When I married I kept Zimmerman because it is a cool name and I love it. I sign and officially use Andrea Z. Paxman.

Beverly said...

Although you are frustrated, you should realize that Standard English usage calls for hyphenating a two-word surname. Without the hypenation, Lawyer will simply be considered to be your middle name and therefore will be dropped whenever someone refers to your last name. That's just how it is. You might want to consider adding a hyphen.

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