What's in a (Sur)name? Pt 2

I spent a large part of yesterday hanging around in banks. I met an old lady who shared all her many concerns about modern life, a man in an overly shiny suit who asked me to explain to the difference between Mrs and Ms, and a woman who told me I only looked four months pregnant (I can only assume she had never met a pregnant person before).

To what did I owe these dubious pleasures? I'm actually, finally, sort of changing my surname. When we got married last year I proudly kept mine. I like it a lot and it felt unnecessary to change such a big part of my identity and history, particularly when men have no such expectation placed on them. I blogged about this before, first marriage time around, and although quite a bit has changed since then my opinions haven't. I got (re)married, I kept my name, all was good.  



But, as I could see even all those years ago, having a baby was always going to throw a spanner in the works. The problem with children is that they need a surname. We had Daddy B and Mummy S. Baby B made me feel left out; I'm growing this baby, they'll have half my DNA, I wanted to share a surname with them, and I wondered if they might question our choice when they're older - Sarah blogged about this recently too. Baby S was out of the question for similar reasons. Baby B-S has obvious problems, and Baby S-B might have caused drama (I didn't really care about going first, but I didn't want my kid to get nicknamed 'Baby Bullshit'). In any case, neither of us felt that comfortable with giving them a double-barrelled name; it felt a bit clumsy and some people hate having one. It also felt a bit unsustainable - what happens if they get married/have children and want to incorporate another name into theirs? A brand new surname didn't really suit us either; our names don't melt into anything useable, and neither of us wanted to change our name anyway.


The much-longed-for spanner in the works.


It became clear that someone was going to have to take a double-barrelled-bullet and I didn't want to, um, shoot my baby. So I am now Liz S-B and, if all goes well, in around 10 weeks we'll have Baby S B (where S is a middle name). My brother and I have my Mum's maiden name as a middle name so it feels like a good way to continue the tradition, and the baby can always go double-barrelled if they want to when they're older. 

The thing that's surprised me is that I actually like it. Initially I thought of it as a sacrifice, or at least a compromise, but I really do like it. I feel like we have a 'team name' that works for us, and we got there without me having to completely change my moniker. And, thanks to the unusual spellings of three out of my five (!) names, I'm confident that I'm now a totally uniquely full-named human. Which is weird in the very best possible way. 

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