Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
This year I have a new name and an old name.
I grew up thinking that you got married and you changed your name to your husband's, I think most of us of my generation did. The older I got though, the less I felt like I would want to. My identity is wrapped up in my name. It's my Dad's name, my Mum's, my brother's and especially my son's. I have been Debbie B for 43 years and I feel like Debbie B. Having been single all my life, I used to say I would never change my name...but then, strangely once the prospect of being married was a reality for me, I started to feel differently.
It was one thing thinking about changing my name to the name of some hypothetical husband-of-the-future - why should I? Why would I? I liked my name, if felt like me, and I wasn't going to change my name for any man - and quite another to think about becoming a family with my very real and wonderful husband to be. He by the way, as in everything else, doesn't mind which choice I make, as long as I am happy. Of course, it goes without saying that if he were insisting I change it, I Absolutely. Would. Not. When I thought about not changing my name to his, about being Debbie B forever, I felt as though I would be not acknowledging our marriage, and the creation of our little family together. So I decided I would change my name to Debbie M, but that after the wedding I would change my name by deed poll to include my name as a middle name. Sorted.
But. After the wedding I kept meaning to notify all the organisations you are supposed to - and somehow every time I thought about it, I put it off. I thought I was just procrastinating, but over time I have realised that it wasn't that at all, I just don't want to do it. It feels like erasing myself, my connection to my past and to my family.
I have read other women's accounts of why they have chosen to keep their own name, or to change it, and I understand all the very valid reasons for both, I just can't seem to come down firmly on one side of the debate or the other. I want the best of both worlds - to remain one of the Bs, and especially to keep the same name as my adult son, but to become an M, part of a new tribe and this very special team of two with my new husband.
So I am staying in both teams. I am leaving everything that is in my single name as it is, and I am using my married name for joint activities and enterprises with my husband. Best of both worlds. Why not?