Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What's in a name?

I don't really regret changing my name when I got married, but I have been missing my maiden name lately. My (nuclear and extended) family is really cool and I like having that visible connection to them. Of course, if I could, I'd share a name with all of my mom's side of the family too - you can see how that would get very messy, very fast. And, of course, there's the feminist side of me that says, "Why should I be the one to give up half of my identity just because I'm a woman?"

My old name was hard to spell, constantly butchered in pronunciation, and is way too close to a swear word, but it was ME. My new name (OK, not really new since we've been married for more than 11 years, but you know what I mean) is common, easy to spell, easy to say, and it actually has become me. But, I wish there was a non-clunky way to have both. Hyphenating is not for me (my signature is already 17 letters long!), and I like that we all have a common name for our family. I think the Chinese way is my favorite. In Chinese I would be 'Markie Oldname' but we would be the 'Newname' family and I would be 'Mrs. Newname'. Who's with me on adopting the Chinese way?
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