Sunday, June 22, 2014

the name game.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I got married last year. What's that? Only like a million times? Ok, well then we're all up to speed now.

Well, one whole year and a month or so later, I'm finally looking in to what it takes to legally change your name. Todd and I had a few conversations about it before we were married, and he's never pressured me to take his last name. It's not something that either one of us came into this feeling that strongly about. We didn't feel like sharing a name would make us any more or less married and committed to each other. But to be honest, the main reasons I've postponed doing anything about it until now is convenience, travel and sheer laziness. Apparently, in order to change your name on a plane ticket (since they would have to match my new ID and passport, obviously), airlines will charge you upwards of $250-300. JUST TO CHANGE THE NAME THAT PRINTS OUT ON THE TICKET. Ugh. I mean, I'm in the ticketing business. I get it. You don't want people just buying a bunch of tickets and then selling them for more money and changing the name. But still. If you can prove that you are the same person who bought the ticket, and just changing your legal name, there should be some kind of exception. So anyway, since Todd and I already had a couple of plane tickets purchased through March of this year, we decided I would just wait until after those trips were over so we didn't have to pay even more money just so I could be "Mrs" instead of "Ms". And then we booked that other (super amazing) trip for May... so it got pushed back a few more months.

And that was okay by me. I mean, it is actually really frustrating and complicated. And even after you've jumped through the hoops of legally changing your name with the Social Security Office and the DMV and the Passport Office, it gets really overwhelming when you start to think about the number of other places/organizations that you still need to notify... utility companies, banks, credit cards, insurance, employers, post office, doctors' offices, voter's registration, schools... It's crazy how many places know who you are.

That's when the laziness kicks in. I like my first, middle, and last names. They've done me right for 30 years. They're great. I like being SEM. But I'm also really excited to have a new chapter of life as "Mr. and Mrs. Garcia". It's pretty cool. People might even think I speak Spanish. (I don't.) But do I drop my last name and keep the first+middle? Or do I drop the middle and make my last name my new middle name? Or do I go for broke and keep them all?? I've been practicing my new signature to see what feels natural. And if I kept them all, can I have two middle initials? Or would I have a double last name, no hyphen?? The possibilities are endless!

Has anyone else been at this crossroads, or did you dive right into the name-change and never look back? Any tips or super secret short cuts or loopholes you found to be helpful? Has anyone else done the double-middle name?


msavovska said...

Stacey, I got married 5 years ago, have a three year old daughter, and I still haven't gotten around to changing my name. It terrifies me because I know somehow it will land me in some sort of bureaucratic wormhole. However, I really really do want to take my husbands name so that I will sound interesting rather than just being a "Jones". And yes, people thinking I speak a foreign language that I don't speak based on my last name is a definite motivator for me too :)

TheCookieJarvis said...

Haven't changed my name yet despite the awesome possibility of becoming "Lindsay Wagner" (aka the bionic woman AND salesperson for sleepnumber beds). I don't have anything against taking the man's last name... I just feel attached to MY name. Plus, I'm super lazy and cheap.