My very clever friend Sandi Sieger was tweeting recently about the kinds of comments she gets about the fact that she changed her name when she got married. I totally respect her opinion and her decision, but I thought perhaps I could write a piece explaining why I didn't change mine.
My husband was disappointed to know that I wasn't going to change my name. According to him I'm "smiting" his family. I think (I hope) this is only said in jest. I'm sure if he had a serious issue and just simply couldn't understand my reasons, this would be a whole different piece and it might titled something like "Why I didn't get married".
I should start by saying that for whatever reason I quite like the tradition of taking your partners name. I think it shows solidarity of some kind. I don't know that I agree with it always being the man's name because I think that's a symptom of an outdated and unfair system, although I don't know how keen I am on someone taking my surname either...
Firstly, I like my name. Seeing as I quite like my name I thought it would be nice to hold onto it.
Secondly, I'm one of three girls, and my husband is one of four boys, there are plenty of them around and I have no doubt there will continue to be. I'd like to stick up for the McPhersons (although they're hardly a dying breed) by holding onto a name that is on its way out in my family!
Thirdly, potential confusion with sisters-in-law could be a problem. So far there is already a Laura Goonan. Oddly enough the other Goonan ladies are an Emma Goonan and an Amy - aka Ems and Ames. Tricky. I'll be intrigued to what happens when the final Goonan Wedding takes place...
Penultimately, as silly as it sounds, there is a brand and a reputation attached to my name. People know me as Lara McPherson. And the mechanics of changing @laramcpherson and laramcpherson.com and all the other place my name lives in its original format to something else wore my brain out.
Finally and fundamentally, I find the idea of a maiden name problematic. Its not like I've been just existing in beta for 27 years, waiting for some man to come along so that I could scrap my temporary surname (the name of my father) and take up the surname of the man who would determine my identity for the remainder of my life. I've already existed as a fully fledged real life person for a long time, and I don't like the idea of abandoning that part of my identity as if it never existed. The idea of everyone I've known up to this point now knowing me as something different forever more seems odd to me.
Ok, over to you ladies and gents. To change, or not to change? Why or why not?