Here’s my deal: I’m keeping my last name when I get married. Actually, I’m keeping everything about my name. Title, first name, middle name, and last name.
I’ve been Jasmine Zick my whole life–why would getting married mean that I change that part of who I am? My name is my identity. That’s what I learned to write in print and pretty cursive for my signature, that’s the reason my assigned seat was in the back corner of the classroom, and why I got to walk across the stage to thunderous applause during graduation. Turns out, there are some perks to being at the end of the alphabet.
I also had to defend my name (all of my name) against people who thought Aladdin jokes were funny in the 90s, those who thought my middle name should be something like Jean or Marie instead of my mom’s maiden name, and all the jokers who figured out that Zick rhymes with a lot of other words. Adversity makes you stronger, you know? I’m kind of attached to it at this point.
I also have a problem with the assumption that the woman getting married should change her name and not the man. Even if you’ve never used the word “feminist” and have lived your life blissfully unaware and untouched by sexism, this tradition can rub you the wrong way. Why should I have to go through all the hassle of changing my social security card, driver’s license, bank info, and who knows how many medical and healthcare forms while my fiance doesn’t have to do any of that? No, thanks. I’m a big fan of doing nothing, too. (Note: I offered to change my name if he did and was turned down–otherwise this would be a different post)
Finally, I’d like to keep “Ms.” instead of “Mrs.” Just like the name thing above, why should my title change when I get married? Isn’t it kind of messed up that you can tell what a woman’s relationship status is by her title but not a man’s? Shouldn’t there be some kind of equivalent: “Mr.” for single dudes and “Mrz.” for married ones? Or, if you think that is as silly as I do, let’s just agree that neither of our titles has to change when we get married.
What everyone seems to want to know is what I propose to do if/when my fiance and I have kids, and the answer is that I have no problem not having the same last name as my kids. We’ll figure something out. That’s the beautiful thing about marriage/long term commitments–you work together to come up with a solution that works for you as a family.