Jaymz, Daniel, and I are changing our last name.
Here's the story:
Several years ago when we were preparing to get married, Jaymz and I spent some time discussing our various last name options. We talked about the possibility of both of us keeping our names as-is: Jaymz would continue to be a Reiswig, and I would be a Temple—but then we couldn't agree on what we'd like to do with our future kids' last names. More importantly than that, we both really liked the idea of our whole family having the same last name; it felt like a really nice way to unify ourselves as a family. We toyed around with the idea of Jaymz changing his last name to Temple, but that didn't feel quite right, either. Neither of us was too keen on the idea of a hyphenated last name (Temple-Reiswig and Reiswig-Temple just felt too clunky). We briefly considered a blended name, but didn't come up with any we liked or that didn't sound ridiculous (Reiswemple, anyone?), so that solution was abandoned. Eventually, we decided to settle for the default (most socially-accepted) thing: I added Reiswig to the end of my name and adopted it as my new last name, and that was that.
Since we got married, the name solution we chose just hasn't ever set quite right with either of us. As names go, I don't really identify with Reiswig (nor with Temple). Having grown up with an easily-pronounceable last name, I've quickly grown tired of having people mispronounce Reiswig and having to explain it to everyone phonetically. (My standard line is, "Rice-wig, like you have rice in your hair.") Also, the whole Wife taking on her Husband's identity thing just doesn't fit either of us. (This is by no means meant as an offense to other women who have changed their surnames to their spouses', only that this is how I've come to realize that I feel about my own name).
So for about two years now, Jaymz and I have been revisiting an earlier approach that we discarded too soon: trying again to come up with a new last name for our family, one that is blended from some of the letters in both of our original names. Our respective feminist sides feel like this is the most appropriate solution to this name conundrum, given that it's important to us for our nuclear family to share a last name.
|Suzanne playing the Name Game|
We were working to get it ready to publish right around the time of our Starbucks anniversary...but then it took a little longer than we thought, and, well, it just hasn't been as high of a priority since we've been going through the house buying process.
My sister Suzanne came to town to visit us about a month ago, and at one point she was idly playing with the alphabet blocks, coming up with funny words. Jaymz and I figured that since the "Name Game" contest was about to go live, we would tell her about what was in the works, and let her know that she could feel free to play with the blocks with that in mind (if she wanted). A few days later, Suzanne presented me with a list of favorite last names that she had come up with, and I tried my hardest not to react when I saw our new last name on that tiny paper. I thanked her for playing the game, and I filed the name away in my mind to talk to Jaymz about later.
When I told Jaymz the name so we could begin to discuss it as an option, he said, "It's perfect." We both really like the sound of it, it fits well with all three of our first names, and it's easy to pronounce and spell. So that settles it: our family has a new surname!
More to come: on the name itself, and what exactly we're doing to celebrate this occasion.
Did you (or do you plan to) change your name when getting married? How did your family make this decision? I'd love to hear your story!