Next week, I’ll have a different name. Yep, I’m a name-changer after marriage.
After 33 years, it makes me kind of sad. It’s been a good name, it is who I am, after all, quite literally. But I’m happy about it too.
My reasons for changing my name are really pretty basic: I want to have the same last name as my future husband. My farmer is modern enough that he would be okay if I didn’t want to change my name, but not so modern that he’d be interested in changing HIS last name. And I’m okay with that – he’s pretty modern-minded for a farmer, but still, the boy’s a farmer. I want us and our children to have the same name. It isn’t how it has to be, but it’s just the way I want it.
It also helps that my new last name is 4 letters and 2 syllables shorter than my old/current last name. My first name is Elizabeth. Signing my old 17-letter, 7-syllable name was exhausting. I’ll be down to 13 letters and 5 syllables! It makes a difference. This is also the reason that hyphenating was not considered as an option.
There are other options, all of which I have considered. I could just stay the same. It’s easy, but then there’s the name difference thing, which just isn’t my thing. I could change it entirely, like I’m doing. Or, I could be Dr. Old-Name, Mrs. New-Name. I see a lot of female vets (probably MDs as well) do that, and I’m not sure I really get it. I can see it’d be nice because professionally I wouldn’t have to change everything (degree, licenses, etc.), and people I know from school and jobs and what not would be able to find me more easily, but I just think it’d be unnecessarily confusing.
At the same time, changing my name altogether is going to be a colossal pain in the butt, too. There’s all the regular stuff everyone has to do – driver’s license, social security card, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. But then I have to change the name associated with my veterinary license, DEA license, professional accounts, get a new degree, etc.
Do any other name-changers out there have suggestions for how to make the process more smooth and enjoyable? I’m really kind of dreading it. Advice would be most appreciated!