Follow Up: Name Changes

After writing about the whole debacle of name changes and how we might navigate it, Sylvia and I didn’t really spend much time talking about it. It sort of became an under-the-radar thing that we didn’t really worry about because there have been far more pressing or important matters to consider. When you have a wedding coming up, you want to make sure that the logistics are moving forward and trying to force a conversation about a lifelong aspect about being married when neither of you are ready to talk about it is pretty much an argument waiting to happen. I think we’ve been making pretty good progress though, so when the thread sort of bubbled up in my brain, I started thinking about it again.

Considering my position that blood ties aren’t nearly as important as family ones, I’m still pretty open to the idea of anything happening down the road, but I really did and still do want to keep my name as is. I spent nearly a decade trying to determine when I would change it so why would I want to change it again after only about a year and a half? I know that Sylvia really wants to keep her last name, but she’d mentioned numerous times how she’s not attached to her middle name. On other unrelated occasions, she’s mentioned that she really likes my step-father’s name that I took as my middle name, so earlier this week I offhand asked her what would she think about changing her middle name to the one that I’ve chosen and then we’ll have a common name between the two of us. Her response was that she’d already been considering it and that she was essentially mostly on board with it already. I think her only real hangup is that she doesn’t like the idea of having to get her documents/IDs updated to the new name. I mentioned that changing your middle name is far less traumatic than either your first or last as it really doesn’t affect much other than taking a day to go in and have new IDs set up and a little bit of time to contact anyone who mails you anything with your middle name/initial. She almost never uses it, so it would be even easier than when I changed mine.

With that, we started talking more about how that would affect the future with any children and part of the reason that Sylvia liked the idea of changing her middle name is that it would give a common thread for any children down the road. She even added that when the time came, we could just give the child our middle name as a last name and then well and truly cement a common name as a family. When I try and think about it from an alternate perspective, it sounds kind of weird. Groom takes step-dad’s family name as a middle name, bride takes groom’s middle name as a middle name, child takes groom’s step-dad’s family name as a family name. It’s all very circuitous and I’m sure seems needlessly complex to anyone that’s not us, but it really does make sense in a way. Sylvia has a much tighter attachment to her Italian and Greek/Polish heritage than I do on my nebulous/largely unknown one. Names are families to me, not blood/family trees so why shouldn’t we create our own framework for the future? Sure, it’ll probably confuse the hell out of any offspring if they ever hit that point where they’re really curious about their family background, but it’ll make for a hell of a story.

The only real concern left about that is how the world will react when Sylvia and I as parents don’t share the same last name as any children, but I think that’s largely not much of an issue in this day and age and certainly will be even less of one by the time we have any children. I can’t really see some trend becoming popular where it’s the thing to have a family unit has all have the same last name. Sure it could happen, but I’m not really banking on it.

With that, I think we’ve got another thing squared away. Granted, there’s always time to change our minds, but I’m pretty confident we’re good. Hooray for making progress and figuring things out!


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