Thursday, May 6, 2010

Were He Not Romeo Called

When I was much younger, I had a difficult time understanding why my cousin had a different last name than mine. I don’t think anyone explained it clearly to me; I had to figure it out for myself later. They said it was my family name and wasn’t Audrey family? Was she adopted?!

Anyways, when I get married, I will take my husband’s name. The only thing I understand people keeping their last name is because of career matters, like my friend whom has several academic papers published before she got married. Other than that, I don’t understand what the big deal is with changing names.

I am not my name. My name helps to identify me, so I know that you’re referring to me and not to someone else, but I am not my name. It also helps to identify my family, but I am not my family.

I don’t mind other labels too much either, as long as it’s not disrespectful. I’ve been called ‘popular’ but popularity doesn’t define me. I’ve been called ‘intelligent’ but obviously I’m not that concerned about portraying intelligence! A friend used to call me ‘tita’ and…um…well…

Changing my last name in marriage will mean something to me though. It will mean that I have chosen to be united with my husband. It will mean that I’m putting something greater before my own desire for recognition. It will mean that I am participating in a tradition that my parents have done, that my grandparents have done, etc. It will mean that my children come from one home.

I’m not knocking those who didn’t change their name. I just don’t understand those who say that to do so would mean losing their identity. I’m also not going to say that changing a name means the same to others that it would to me.

I may become Jennifer Hufenschtandemir someday, but I will still be [me].