3/13/2009

by any other name...

John was sorting through a bunch of memorabilia last night that his mother shipped down to us. She's downscaling and cleaning out the garage.

It occurred to me as I saw John's name on various articles, awards and papers, that his name is still the same as when he was a young'un (duh, but it was the first time I'd really felt the implications of that). When I see my name on the items from my youth, it feels like relics from a different person's life--that of the girl known as Jana Bouck.

I love my married name. I love it so much that I never for a second even considered keeping my given name (it's French, it's short, it's easy to spell!). But it hadn't hit me before...the loss of continuity from my girlhood self.

Jana Bouck is relegated to the dusty boxes on our storage shelves. Jana Remy is me.

PS: I think this is the first time I've written out my first and last names on my blog. That ought to send the search engines spinning my way with greater accuracy...(hoping I won't regret it...)

6 comments:

Genie said...

When I got married the second time in 2007, I kept my birth last name for work and use my married name outside of work. It's neat because it's like I'm keeping both personas alive. I'm like Mr. Rogers and just change into one name from the other as I come in the door. :)

Katherine said...

As I advance into my thirties and remain single, I know that I will keep my maiden name (perhaps in addition to my husband's name) if I do marry.

I feel like I would be giving up too much of who I am and have become -- and my entire professional identity.

journeygal said...

I had a REALLY hard time deciding whether or not to change my name, and ending up doing so on a whim because I figured if I did end up going for the name-change, it would be easier for me to to so at a time I was moving to a new state and starting a new career. If I could make the decision again, I think I would hyphenate my maiden name and Ryan's last name. I've started doing it informally when I sign things or give my name to someone, and it's kind of catching on.

C. L. Hanson said...

I know how you feel, although my situation is slightly different. I posted a bit about it here, and one commenter pointed out that my birth name comes from my patriarchal line, but that's not the point -- it's a question of my identity changing because of being married. At the same time, I guess it's reasonable to indicate that my identity has changed, at least to some degree.

Legally, I haven't changed my name, and in my own profession and personal interests (like blogging) I like to use my birth name. But for family stuff, I'm perfectly happy to identify as "Madame Husband's-name" since it's simpler and matches the rest of my family. It's like I have different names for my different personas. It's too bad for my husband that he doesn't have some equivalent way to indicate how his family alliance has changed his identity as well...

Linguini-Nini said...

I always thought I'd change my name when I got married because my first name and my 'maiden' (LOL!) name don't scan so well together. My first name has one short syllable and one long syllable, both high front vowels: "ne-neeeeeee" and my last name has one short syllable with a lower back vowel: "nuh". Frankly, after such a drawn-out first name, my last name sounds abrupt.

But then I didn't get married until I was in my 40's. I'd had my funny name for so long, I couldn't imagine not having it. It helped tremendously that Ted's mom had kept her last name and that Ted was very much in favor of me keeping my last name.

So I tell people that my name is my name, but Mrs. Ted's-last-name is my title. :-)

belleshpgrl said...

This is actually a terribly touchy subject for me and my fiance. I want to keep my maiden name because it's my name. However, he feels that a family should have the same last name. So I said I would hyphenate, gladly, but he's also uncomfortable with that. I think he's just going to have to accept Mrs. S-D.