Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Name Game

Image via Wedding by Color

I have a confession to make. I am completely undecided on whether or not I am going to take Mr. Warbs' last name. 

In the old days when things were simpler, a woman would take her husband's last name without question. It was a clean and cut decision. It wasn't even really a decision, it was just something that you did. Now, there are so many different elements to consider. A career woman might not want to change her name because it's the name she built her career with. A student might be in the process of getting a new loan or financial aid. Changing her name in the middle of that would just be confusing. While these are both valid examples, I'll admit that they don't apply to my situation. The real reason I'm hesitant about changing my name is two-fold. 

I love my last name. I don't care for Mr. Warbs' last name.

I know, I know I sound like a whiny child, but I can't help it. Let me explain.

My last name is very unique. I've only met one other person with the same name who was no relation to me. There's a football player who has it too, but I'm pretty sure this person IS related to me somehow. He comes from Mississippi and there's a whole town in Mississippi that is basically made up of my family. True story! But the real reason that I love it, is because it's basically the last thing I have that ties me to my father. When he passed away six years ago, it was incredibly hard on me. I remember in the months after he passed I desperately looked around the house for things that reminded me of him. Now when I go visit his grave site and see our last name in big bold letters, I feel a little more connected to him, a little more loved. I apologize if that sounds morbid. A part of me feels that if I change my last name, I'll lose that much more of him. He was so proud of our last name that he made me feel proud, even when I was teased about it as a kid. Since my sisters and I have different fathers, I feel like it's my duty to carry on my  dad's name.

While I may have gotten teased a couple of times as a kid, Mr. Warbs got teased ALL of the time. His last name is like easy pickings for the school bully. Without giving it away, Mr. Warbs' last name is dull. As in a synonym for the word. When I told my friends and family his last name after we started dating, the general reaction was, "Wow, you might be Mrs. Dull someday! "Well they were right! Sure, I'm past the grade school age, but I can just imagine everyone snickering at the doctor's office when a nurse calls out, "Mrs. Dull?" Not cool. Like me, Mr. Warbs is really proud of his last name. He can trace his ancestors back as far as the Great Depression. That's something to be proud of. I can't even trace my ancestors past my great grandfather. He wins hands down. 

When I told Mr. Warbs how I felt about the Name Game he was shocked at first that I didn't want to wholeheartedly take his last name. But, he said that he understood and would be happy with whatever  I decided as long as we were married. He said that if I wasn't comfortable with it, I didn't have to change my name at all. Ugh, he's so freakin' sweet sometimes!

So I have a couple of options. Under no circumstances do I want to lose my last name completely. But I also want to take Mr. Warbs' last name. Mostly because I know it would mean a lot to him and because I really want to be called Mr. and Mrs. So, I've decided that I will either add my last name as my new middle name, or hyphenate my last name with Mr. Warbs'. So I will either be Mrs. Dull or Mrs. Warbs-Dull. The first option is a good compromise, but I also like my current middle name! However, I don't use it that often so I'm willing to part ways with it. The second option is my favorite, because I like seeing our two names together. Also if we ever do decide to have children (we both are in agreement not to, but who knows?) I would want them to have both of our last names. But, I would then have four names: Mrs. First Name Middle Name Warbs-Dull. That would be quite a mouth full!

Which option do you think I should go with? Is anyone else going the hyphenated route?

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