Many more readers sound off:
I’m to be married a month from now, and this has been a hot topic among friends. My fiancé will be taking my last name. But I’m a firm believer that we humans should take advantage of the one time that we have a little choice in what we are called. I say the new rules should go like this: best last name wins. I don’t want to name names, but our contest wasn’t even close. Her last name is British slang for penis, whereas mine is synonymous with brute Swedish strength. As the rest of my circle falls into marriage, I will be a big advocate for this new approach. Family legacy be damned.
When I started dating my wife, I let it be known that I would have no problem if she hyphenated or kept her own name. But since her maiden name was Virgin (yes, not Virginia, not Burgenie, Virgin) she was ready to ditch it as fast as she could. Virgin-Wright (or even Wright-Virgin) just wasn’t happening. So she remained a Virgin until marriage and not a moment more.
My mother’s advice: if the married name is easier to spell, go with it. It was, so I did! I’ve saved probably six and a half days of spelling my name out for people.
My daughter’s father and I are not married. At the time when I was pregnant and after I gave birth, her father and I were planning on getting married. That didn’t happen, and it is also probably the best thing for my daughter and me that it did not happen. My daughter is now 20 years old. I raised her on my own with the help of my supportive family.
My daughter also still has her father’s last name, and she’s the only one in our family that has that last name. Why didn’t I change it when she was young and it was apparent that her father was not going to be a part of her life? I didn’t change for a couple reasons. The first reason is superficial – it’s a pretty last name, and it sounds beautiful with her first name. The other reason is maybe more important – it’s the only thing her father gave her, and I want her to keep it and have something beautiful from her father.
Though I should also add that my daughter’s middle name is my last name. Even though I do love her father’s last name, I still wanted my name in there somewhere.
Within mine and my husband’s families I think we have almost every variation on this theme. I kept mine. Why? My then fiancee said, “I fell in love with Susan Green, I want to be married to Susan Green.” Twenty-odd years later he still is married to Susan Green.