What's in a Name?

I am bad wife. I have been married for exactly 5 months and 6 days and I had yet to legally change my last name. Today, I decided to take a big step. I went to the social security office to start the name change process.

The procedure with Social Security was relatively painless. I downloaded a form from the internet and filled out all the appropriate information. I gathered the necessary documents and trudged over to the office in Glendale. I walked in and got a number. I read about three chapters in my book when my name was called. The social security employee took all of five minutes to change my name from Anne N(Middle Name) K(Maiden Name) to Anne K(Maiden Name) R(Married Name). Just like that, I had a new name.

It happened so quickly that I was in a mild state of shock. It was so simple that I began to wonder why I procrastinated. Was my I afraid that changing my name would mean that I'm losing my identity? Did I think it would make me a less independent woman? Now that we shared a last name does that make Rob and I more married than we were before? The truth of the matter is that I was simply reluctant to give up my last name. For 30 plus years, I have been Anne K(Maiden Name).

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my last name. K(Maiden Name) is a very ethnic Filipino last name. I spent the entirety of my childhood having every teacher and classmate grossly mispronounce it. Something about the disproportionate number of vowels to consonants made it difficult to pronounce. It had gotten to the point where I simply asked people to call me Anne K. My blog name is a prime example of this.

One of the things I love about my maiden name is that it ties me to my cultural heritage. K(Maiden Name) is a Tagalog word that loosely translate to "kind, generous person". When older Filipinos would read my maiden name, they would immediately comment on its meaning. It gave me a small sense of community and small sense of pride. Another thing to consider is that every award and achievement that I had ever earned are tied to my maiden name.

  • Ninth Honors English Award- Anne K(Maiden Name)
  • Honorable Mention for Photography 1993 Student Gallery Art Show - Anne K(Maiden Name)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Anne K(Maiden Name)
  • First New Car I ever purchase is registered under Anne K(Maiden Name)
I could go on and on. Those are just a few of my personal faves.

In the end, I think I may be making a mountain out of a molehill. No matter what label/name I go by I'm still the same person on the inside. Being married isn't the magical elixir that transforms your life and becoming Mrs. R didn't magically a different person. So, despite what it says on my Social Security card, please just call me Anne K.

2 more coherent thought(s):

Reila Bird said...

I'm getting married in August, and I'm one of those girls that will be proud to take my future husband's name, but am afraid of losing my identity. I am also Anne but R. and a middle name too. (Pinay also and I have a ton of names). I plan on keeping my maiden name and using it as my new middle name which replaces my mom's maiden name. Confusing..nah you get b/c you're pinay too! Glad I found your blog.

Super Daysh said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've been married for over a year and still haven't changed my name, officially. Oh well. I like my last name better anyways. ;) It must be a girl thing ;) Especially since men don't have to give theirs up. lol

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