Monday, November 15, 2010

My new coat

I mean new name.

But it feels like a new coat.

Yeah, it's weird, I know. Allow me to explain.

"How's married life treating you?" is a question I've been getting a lot over the last now almost month and half since the wedding. For the most part, married life feels a lot like our pre 10-10-10 lives. Don't get me wrong, we are both acutely and wonderfully aware of the official-ness of our new titles. I feel ridiculous happiness and pride when I say 'my husband' (even typing it evokes a similar feeling, it seems) or when James refers to me as his wife. But our regular day to day life hasn't really changed much.

With the exception of one thing- my last name.

The decision to change my name came after some deep thought and reflection. I realized that my name of origin is definitely a part of who I am, but doesn't define me. I thought about hyphenating but realized that wasn't my style. And finally, I realized that I really wanted the same last name as my husband and future kids. For me, that was one of the many pieces of the puzzle that defines the unity of a family. I carried this decision around with me, like a coat hooked over my arm, for over a year. I knew I would need it in the future, but not yet. Once in a while, I'd play around with coat, slip an arm in and imagine my new name, but I didn't try it on completely or write my new name over and over like they do in the movies.

Then I got married. And started the name changing process. Before I put the coat on, I wanted to make sure the seams were finished and it wouldn't unravel around me.

The first time I heard someone call me 'Mrs. new last name', I actually looked around for James' stepmother. I realized then it was time to put the coat on. Those first couple of weeks were strange- the coat didn't fit as I had hoped. I liked it, but I could feel it's newness on me.

But I'm getting used to it. And as more of my accounts, credentials, etc. transition to my new name, the name coat fits better and better.

Then the other night, James called me by my new full name. That felt so right, and I felt another layer of our team solidifying and the beginnings of our family form and unite. It was really cool. I never doubted my decision about my name, but that night confirmed it.

I think it is going to be a little while longer before it feels like it belongs to me completely, but I am looking forward to that worn in, ownership feeling of my new name/coat/title.


  1. omg, I'm going through the same times getting it changed at social security admin, dmv, work, client, school, credit cards, bank, email, etc, etc. 80% of time I get it right when I say it, but definitely still a conscious effort!

  2. Yeah, quite the party! Not sure when the new name saying and signing becomes second nature, but I have definitely caught myself mid-signage needing to correct it:)

  3. Well put, this post answers a question I had pondered but never found a moment to ask about. It is strange at first when my family starts changing their names, like somehow my wardrobe is getting smaller, maybe my sock is slipping off my ankle? Then I stop and think, and remember the wonder of adding more people to the family, and that is great. ( I wanted to keep the metaphor going, but couldn't figure out the logistics)

  4. Thanks Ilan! Yeah, I wanted to keep going with the metaphor too, like the lining of the new coat is made of the strong fabric of my family of origin... but the threads started getting all tangled in my mind:) I do agree though that it ultimately becomes this epic quilt of connections, people, love and values- it's pretty awesome.