Name change

I always, always, ALWAYS swore that if I ever got married – an extremely remote possibility given my history of disastrous relationships with total arseholes – I would never change my name.  Feminist principles, outmoded concepts of ownership, wives as goods and chattels blah blah blah. 

So when Tuxedo and I married I stayed, resolutely, Juliana Father’sLastName.  Tuxedo was fine with this, he respected my wishes and my reasoning and didn’t pressure me into taking his lastname – even though I knew, really, that he would have liked me to do so.

Somehow though, my thinking has changed.  Whether it’s because we’ve been married nearly five years now, and together for over six, and I’m slightly more secure given the evidence of our mutual divine happiness (and that he will not bolt on me, necessitating a messy divorce and messy re-name-changing) but I have come to the following conclusions vis a vis the legal changing of my lastname.

First:  I am, and wish to continue to be part of Tuxedo’s life.  He and I have an amazing relationship – best friends, companions, partners, lovers, the lot; we are a partnership; we’re a family (I cannot see that having/not having kids makes you more or less a family; anyway we have cats).  Also – and this sounds disgustingly corny and politically incorrect and I DON’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK, we are part of each other, belong together, and belong to each other.  Therefore a shared lastname makes sense.

Second:  (and most logical)  Why keep a lastname that was given to you by your parent(s)/guardian/authority figure at birth, that you had no choice over, vs taking the lastname of the life partner you DID choose?  The way I see it, the parental lastname marks you as a good and chattel in just the same manner as becoming a Mrs Harvey Stokes (or whatever) does; maybe even more so given the whole patriarchal/patrilineal set-up of Western society.

Obviously if someone has a very strong association and identity with their given lastname then of course he/she should keep that regardless of partnership status.  If she/he has no particularly strong feelings toward that given lastname then s/he may as well abandon it. 

In my case I do want to keep my father’s lastname; I also want to take Tuxedo’s.  What to do?  I hatehatehate squinched together double-barrel names, I just happen to find them pretentious and naff and more importantly, totally meaningless unless both parties change their lastname to Fowington-Stokes (or whatever).  I know for sure that Tux wouldn’t (see: pretentious and naff).

So the conclusion I have finally come to is as follows;

To change my name so that my father’s lastname becomes a second middle name; and take Tuxedo’s lastname as my actual lastname.  Think Laura Ingalls WILDER or Frances Hodgson BURNETT.

Meet Juliana Fluffy PENGUIN.

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