Should I change my surname?

zeilerk at TCPLINK.NREL.GOV zeilerk at TCPLINK.NREL.GOV
Wed Mar 1 19:49:58 EST 1995


I know this thread is slightly old but I thought I'd throw out my idea (so far I
haven't convinced very many people of my viewpoint, probably because it is 
relatively radical).

Let me first say that I have been married twice and did not change my name 
either time.  Before my first marriage I had read in the paper that it was 
perfectly legal to keep your own name and it never really occurred to me to do 
otherwise afterwards.  Since then I have developed a new idea, not shared by 
virtually anyone, I find.  (Including my spouse!)

My proposal is that when two individuals decide to join together - leaving their
original family and forming a new family - that they should pick a BRAND NEW 
SURNAME!!  I don't agree with objections to how difficult it would be to trace 
ancestry - female lineages must live without a historical surname, so why not 
trace lineage by individuals?

Of course, the hard part is the responsibility of choosing the new name!  
Myself, I would almost have to choose "Blank", as in fill in the...  But of 
course, that's part of the fun, too.

And also, some people like their own names (like Songster, how nice!)so we must 
be flexible to accommodate everyone.  (Mary, maybe you and your spouse should 
have become SongsterAlpin without the hyphen!).

That's my 2 pence worth, but I will add that picking a new name together would 
be a strong bonding process and also would avoid some of the confusion arising 
from different surnames in the same family.  (For example, my daughter, my 
husband and myself have 3 different surnames; we don't care but it sure confuses
her teachers!  More the fun.  Once we tried to take the letters of our 3 names 
and make a new one - not possible in our case!).

Kate


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re:  Should I change my surname?
Author:  mary_songster_alpin at ncsu.edu (Mary Songster-Alpin) at smtp
Date:    2/8/95 6:17 PM


I am currently a Ph.D. student in veterinary microbiology/virology.  When I 
got married in July of 1993, I decided to hyphenate my maiden name (Songster) 
with my husband's name (Alpin).  Songster-Alpin sounded good together and I 
didn't feel like taking on a totally new name.  However, hyphenating was the 
worst mistake I could have made.  NOBODY respected my decision.  All of my 
mail is addressed as Mary Alpin, Mrs. Alpin ect.  Even my insurance company 
(all of the bills are in my name since I had access to the phone during the 
day) changed my name.  They claimed that nobody would know where to look for 
our records.  That excuse made me mad.  I get strange looks, blank looks ect. 
when I say or spell my name.  What really gets me is I like it.  I think it's 
unique and elegant.  However, I have found that most people have a problem 
with husbands and wives having different names.  Mine being 50% similar only 
compounds the problem.  If I could do it again, I would have kept my own name. 
 This wouldn't solve most of the problem but people would probably think I 
wasn't married and would be reluctant to call me Mrs.  My advice:  keep your 
own name.  Marriage isn't about names, it's about love.

Mary S. Songster-Alpin      Mary_Songster_Alpin at ncsu.edu 
Dept. of Micro., Path., and Parasit.
North Carolina State University
College of Veterinary Medicine
4700 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27606





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