rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28

Marriage and titles and names have been on my mind, see my post of last month.  Two of my friends got married on the same day in March: one changed her name to her husband's, one kept her name.   Both equally valid choices, but the one who kept her name got so much "jokey" pushback that I rolled my eyes, thinking "oh no, not again".

For a while now I've found myself thinking "if I was getting married tomorrow, I wouldn't change my name".  My experience is that the people who respect my compromise double surname also respect the women who don't change their names (and the men who do).  The rest of them just address me as Mrs Anthony Finch anyway.  Plus the idea of "remaining one person with one name, in everything I do" has proved overly idealistic, given how much I answer to "Charles's mum" or "Nicholas's mum" rather than my actual name, or call for a taxi/book a table in the name "Finch" because that's easier than the whole double barrel (but feels uncomfortably wrong).

It isn't much of a step from "I wouldn't change my name now" to "I wish I hadn't changed my name" and from there to "what is stopping me changing back?"  In the last month I've basically realised it's the paperwork hassle and concern for Tony's feelings.  On checking with Tony, he's entirely supportive, which just leaves paperwork.

I think if Nicholas had been a daughter rather than a son, this might have happened two years ago.  I quite liked the idea of "the girls" being Colemans and "the boys" being Finches (though it has its own issues with reinforcing the binary gender default).  But there aren't and won't be "the girls" now, so it's taken a bit longer to bubble up out of "nice idea" into "this feels important to me and I want to do it".

Today I'm starting the tedious process of changing everything back.  I fully expect it to take months to get through everything, and to have to gently correct people assuming we're getting divorced, but from today I'm Rachel Coleman again.  Ms rather than Mrs, and I still prefer "Rachel" to any title.  I'm going to keep my personal email address (rmcf@cb4.eu) even though those aren't quite my initials any more, because for nearly nine years they were, and that's part of my history.

I'm still very happily married, and my children still have their father's surname.  But I made a mistake changing my name and now I'm fixing it.

Date: 2014-04-30 12:09 (UTC)
beckyc: Me, wearing a gas mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] beckyc
May I second lnr's message of congratulations!

But I made a mistake changing my name and now I'm fixing it.

It is OK to make mistakes, and OK to correct them. It will be awkward in the sense of tedious paperwork, so I hope the process is as free from hassle as possible. But if people try to make it awkward, *they* are the ones being awkward, not you!

Although it's tedious for you on a personal level to through this process, you sharing your lived experiences of the various hassles of your compromise name format help others. Like me, for instance :-). So you're already a role model, and now you get to be one for people deciding it's OK to change names too :-)

Date: 2014-04-30 20:46 (UTC)
beckyc: Me, wearing a gas mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] beckyc
Learning is good, glad the discussions were useful :-)

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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