Friday, November 18, 2005

The price of identity: $137

I tracked down my record of solemnization, sort of a temporary marriage certificate until the real one comes in, and I set off to change my name. My husband and I had already decided, after much deliberation, that I would keep my maiden name as a middle name and add his name as a last name.

So my name would change from: Jennifer Meghan McNicoll to Jennifer Meghan McNicoll Filipowicz. First name: Jennifer; Middle name: Meghan McNicoll; Last name: Filipowicz. Seems logical enough doesn't it? This way I can keep my identity as a McNicoll without breaking tradition or having a last name as long as my arm.

According to the good people at the licensing place, however, you can change your last name for free when you get married, but not your middle name.

There are therefore only four options:

  • dorky hyphenating (McNicoll-Filipowicz, or Filipowicz-McNicoll)
  • keeping the status quo (McNicoll)
  • conforming to tradition (Filipowicz)
  • paying $137 to change my name to whatever I darn well please

Since I'd planned to go with Filipowicz most of the time anyway, I went with the third choice (though the fourth is still tempting). I agree with the whole feminist philosophy about name changes. There's really no reason why women should have to absorb their husband's identity. On the other hand, we're a family now and I want us both to have to same family name.

It's not as if I want change my name to Candy K. Flossbottom. In that case I would gladly dole out 137 bucks. But go through the whole official name change rigmarole just to move my maiden name one slot the left? Come on now.


Becca said...

I never did the OFFICIAL name change on the Birth certificate. I was born "Banks" I left it that way. I assumed "Painter" on all of my other Identification.

Super Happy Jen said...

I'll leave my birth certificate alone too. But all our children will have McNicoll as a middle name so there!

Adam Filipowicz said...

I kinda feel bad that you didnt get what you wanted. as we talked ahem argued about this for a long time.. a long time ago

Love you

Panthergirl said...

I've been married three times and never changed my name. Saved myself a lot of paperwork!

Changing one's name seems like such a dramatic changing your face...yet so many women do it so readily.

However, a feminist friend of mine changed her name because she said, "What's the difference? I started with one man's name, my father's, and now I've got another man's name."

I suppose that's one way to look at it. A woman in my office just changed her name from Parra to DeAlbuquerque. Talk about sacrifice!! :)

Super Happy Jen said...

As Shakespeare once said: "A rose would still smell sweet if it took the petunia's last name." Or something like that.

Merther said...

You should do the full name thing to something you want like Wonderjen Kickass. OOOOO and make your middle name Danger. Wonderjen Danger Kickass. Has a nice ring to it.

zydeco fish said...

Well, this is kind of off topic, but I believe that we should all be given provisional names until we reach adulthood. Then, we could choose a name we actually like, and not be stuck with 'Flower' or 'Bif' or 'Zydeco' or some other silly name.

kewpiedoll said...

hyphenated names are trés chic in my opinion but then I've always been such a dork...;)

And I agree with Zydeco about the provisional names. Get the congress peeps to pass the bill, pronto!

Super Happy Jen said...

Z-That's good idea, but I'd have such a hard time choosing a name for myself. (Even though I've always felt that Jennifer was too common)

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