Mrs. Kate

Or, Why I Changed My Mind and Kept My Name

It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote my big spiel on why I was going to change my name after getting married. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, and I made all the steps towards changing my name I could make before going the legal route – I made a new email, I started a new blog, and I updated my name on Facebook. It all seemed pretty smooth sailing from there.

But those were the easy, exciting, and free things to do. I am, in the end, pretty lazy about paperwork-type things, and the less tangible a thing is that I spend my money on, the more I resent it. It’s actually pretty shocking to think of all the cards and documents you might have that are linked to your name. Email, blogs, and Facebook don’t even begin to cover it. There’s your driver’s license, passport, social insurance card, health card, credit cards, cheques, business cards, and any other miscellaneous licenses. Then there’s also all your utility bills, phone plan, and any club or membership cards. It all has to be done around the same time, too, or you might end up with conflicting information on your identification during a moment when you really don’t want conflicting information on your identification.

Once I decided it was not worth the hassle, my wife admitted she preferred me with my maiden name!

All the reasons I had for keeping my name are still there, and the reasons I had for changing it seem less important now that I am faced with how much effort it would take.

The confusion over our relationship will not go away whether we have the same name or different names. There is always going to be somebody who thinks we are mother-daughter, daughter-mother, sisters, cousins, or simple besties. (I mean, I suppose we are besties.) There is always going to be the assumption that we are married to men, until we gently offer the correct pronouns for our spouses.

There are no plans for children at this point, and I think even if there were, it wouldn’t be our name that made us a family. Our names could link together in our children, and we’d mash something together, be it a hyphenated name or some original blend of our names to make an entirely new one. That sounds more like us, to be honest.

And while I have indeed changed a lot as a person since meeting my wife, I will continue – to grow, and overcome, and accomplish – as long as I live. Not to diminish what my wife does for me or means to me, but I feel that to mark a single point in my life as a time worthy enough for a name change trivializes the change. That’s what tattoos are for!

I love my last name, and it’s a comfortable decision to keep it. And for me, at this point, it’s the right one.


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