Morning ladies and gents 🙂 I thought I'd welcome Tuesday with a little discussion post from my friend and Guest Blogger, Rebecca Norris, who's in the mood for talking names. Marital surnames that is. By the way, you can read more from the lovely Rebecca Norris on Love My Dress here. Over to the pretty lady herself, who you can follow on Twitter too…
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So, today I thought we could fire up a little discussion amongst the readers of Love my Dress. It’s a topic most Brides to be consider, and some like me, might even still be considering two years on, never mind those who were practicing their new signature years before the proposal even came ;). I’m talking about the change of name that comes with slipping that ring on your finger and becoming the new Mrs Jones.
Except that two years down the line, I’m actually still not Mrs Norris. Shock horror. And I thought I’d talk about my reasons today. I don’t know why, but I never thought I would change my name. Partly due to my professional life and the reputation my name is associated with, but partly because I was kind of attached to it. But more profoundly, I didn’t need a new name to know I was his. Hook, line and sinker. I was off the market, sold, a done deal, a long time before he proposed. It seemed neanderthal, outdated and like losing my identity.
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But I hadn’t anticipated Pete’s reaction. Never the possessive type or jealous, a couple of months before the wedding he got quite persistent in his insistence that I change it. Fortunately, he knows I’m not the obedient type and the wedding passed without me having to do it and things settled down. It’s a periodic discussion though. Of course, you might all be wondering what I’m talking about, as to all of you I am Rebecca Norris, but when I started blogging, after a brief period of using a pseudonym, I chose to use my married name online and keep my professional identity separate. the blogosphere is the only place I am Mrs Norris. It almost doesn’t count.
The biggest persuasive argument people use when proffering their opinion (why do people do that? I didn’t ask?!) is children. But the children wont understand. They will wonder why mummy and daddy don’t have the same name. Frankly, in this day and age of co-habiting, extended families, divorce and re-marriage, it seems parents with the same name is more the norm.
I won’t lie, I did feel guilty. It would be completely beyond the comprehension of my in-laws and even my Mum thinks I’m a bit odd. The majority of my friends (in the same profession) have even changed their name at work. I’m the odd one out. But it did (and does) annoy me when people feel it something I should have done, because it is what’s expected, and to spare Pete’s feelings. Is that what getting married is? I’m all for compromise, but giving up strongly held beliefs doesn’t make for a sound partnership in my mind.
Time has ticked on and the first two years of married life have brought us so much happiness. Time spent with family – Pete’s parent always embrace me as Mrs Norris when we visit – has reinforced the desire to outwardly become his wife also in name. However, it’s not just the good times that have changed my mind, and I have changed it, it’s the bad.
Recent months have been stressful, emotionally draining and tinged with loss, but through it all, Pete has been by my side. Even when I haven’t had blogging to do he has continued being the backbone of our household, taking care of me. He’s spent many a dinner (dates included) listening to the latest saga or hearing me vocalise my thought processes, trying to rationalise. And although we always were, it’s made me want to be that little bit more Team Norris. The name has served me well online and now when I’m making dinner reservations or introducing myself, Norris just rolls of the tongue. It gives me that feeling you get when you say ‘husband’. like an invisible tie to the other person. Like they should feel it too, wherever they are.
So two years, three months and two days after saying I do, I am officially changing my name. Better late then never hey?
So now it’s your turn, tell us if you couldn’t or can’t wait to change you name, if you opted to stick with your maiden name, or if you defied tradition another way – perhaps he took your name? I’d love to hear your stories 🙂