Thursday, October 18, 2012

the name game

A lot of women have a really difficult time deciding whether or not to change their last name after marriage. Me, not so much. I always knew that I wanted to ditch my last name because it has difficult associations for me, and for a lot of reasons it never sat right with me to do a name change to my mom's maiden name when I was single. (For starters, I can barely pronounce it. For other reasons, it would have quite literally been a nail in the coffin to any relationship with my extended paternal family which has been on rocky ground for years anyhow).

So I've always known I'd take Bunny's name. What I didn't expect was that it wouldn't entirely be easy.

Even just being able to "assume" his name by use of our marriage certificate (when we get that) doesn't make the process easy. We can't even send away for that until almost 2 months after the wedding, and then have to wait for its arrival. I still have to do a lot of paperwork, and inform various peoples. And things have to go in very specific orders that I'm still trying to work out (for example, changing the name on my SIN card, bank accounts, and at work will all affect each other for tax purposes and the ability to deposit my paychecks and so has to be done in an effective order).

I've already changed my name socially, which has been easy as pie. Update facebook, correct people when they refer to me by the maiden name or Ms. (because I am a Mrs., thank you very much). It felt weird for the longest time seeing that on facebook, and logging in to the new email address with the new last name.

The bit that's got me all turned up in knots right now? My signature. The other week I was bridesmaids dress shopping for a dear friend's wedding, and after putting the money down I needed to sign off that I was aware this was non-refundable. Well, great. Except this was the first time I had signed my name as a married woman (other than at work, where I still have to use my last name) and I froze. I got my first name out and then had this deer in headlights, what the heck do I do moment.

So that's how I left it. Just my first name, in its terrible scribbled format. So now the question is this, what do I do with the signature. Do I just scrawl "Sheryl Rabbit" in the same awful scratch I've always used with my maiden name? Do I need to wait until things are formally changed? Do I take the opportunity to update the signature and make it something I like more?

I hate how drawn out this process is. I hate that there's so much effort involved in changing the name, because quite frankly I can be a very lazy person and putting effort into something so superficial is nonsense. It would be easier to keep my name, but that's not a decision that feels good to me. I don't want to keep my name. I just don't want to have to go to all this effort to change it, and it's just flat out not fair that the effort is all on my part.

So, to the married ladies (and soon to be married ladies) out there: how has actually getting married affected your feelings on changing your name? Is it still the same old decision it's always been, or is it somehow more complicated or loaded?

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