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July 09, 2006

Name Game

I loved Maureen Dowd's column in today's Ann Arbor News, which documents the new trend of brides and grooms merging their last names along with their assets. It was inspiring to read the story of the two Rachels -- she took his last name and he took her first name -- and to learn that my mom's mayor was born Tony Villar. But my name and David's don't merge well, and hyphenation is out of the question -- it would just be cruel to make our children learn two eight-letter last names. I had always thought there were two options at marriage: take his name or keep mine. I actually plan to do both: I'll add David's last name after mine, and use his personally and mine professionally. He would profer for me to just get rid of mine and use his for everything, but I want to have continuity in my professional life. Granted, I'm not published or anything, but I have presented at conferences and won fellowships in my own name. As I told David, if he wanted me to be Emily M., historian, he should have married me before I started grad school! While my own last name isn't overly complicated, his is definitely easier to pronounce and easier to spell, as it is an actual word in the English language, so I look forward to using it. And then my initials will spell Em! Bitch, Ph.D. recently weighed in on the politics of surnames for children, but for us it is pretty straightforward. Potential children will have his last name -- since he cares and I don't, and again because his is easier to spell -- but they will have my religion.

Posted by eklanche at July 9, 2006 02:49 PM

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