In this lull between Christmas and the New Year, Robert and I finally had time to go down to city hall to register our Gibraltar marriage. This gave me nearly three months to decide what to do about my name.
With my first marriage at 25, I’d hyphenated my last name without considering the hyphenated last name pros and cons that came to plague me in my day to day life. Hyphenating my name was a namby pamby way to go. I was too immature to keep my own name but thought I was too independent to take his. Looking back, it seems like I had one foot in and one foot out from day one.
Hyphenated Last Name Pros and Cons
This ill conceived hypenated name was a constant nine year long hassle during which I encountered dozens of databases that either didn’t support special characters like hyphens, or that didn’t allow enough characters to accommodate both names, forcing me to choose one or live with an oddly truncated version of my joined names. Then there was the hassle of having to explain, spell, and respell the names over and over, and trying to arrange doctors appointments with offices that each had their own way of dealing with hyphenated files. hyphenated last name pros and cons
Towards the end of my marriage, I relented and used a single last name… sometimes mine, sometimes his. After nearly a decade, I still couldn’t decide who I was!
With my divorce, I chose a new last name. It had no significance other than that it was easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and it sounded great with Sage Autumn. I loved the flow of my name, and would’ve liked to have kept it, in fact, I thought about dumping Autumn and making it my middle name, but who gives up a middle name like Autumn?
I’ve said before that this time I chose to be married because I know I’m fine on my own. Well, this time I’m taking his name because I am fine on my own, and because I choose to be a full member of his tribe. I’m all in. Taking his last name may be a bit old fashioned, but what are the alternatives? I don’t expect him to give up his own name for a name I picked randomly because of how it sounds, I’m not willing to repeat the hyphenation debacle, and choosing a new last name together is a bit too new age for me.
So, from now on, I’ll go by Mrs. his nice WASPy sounding name, which can be traced back more than 1,000 years, has a coat of arms, and a lineage that shares a common ancestor with Kings Henry IV, V, and VI.
Really, there are worse things.