Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The Name Game
When I got divorced many years ago, my divorce papers said that I got my "maiden" name back. My kids were quite young at the time so I didn't really pursue it. They had somewhat strong feelings about us having matching names so I just kept using both names for more and more things. In the last couple years, however, with my kids becoming adults and no longer having those same feelings, I have pondered and fussed about the how, the expense, and the practicality of getting rid of the "Irons" on the end of my name. Finally, it just became important enough to me to go through the trials of making it happen.
Now begins the process of actually getting it changed on all my documents, records, and accounts. It is a bit daunting so I gave myself permission to take it slowly--one step at a time. I know that it won't really be long until my Social Security card, passport, bank account and driver's license reflect the change even if I would love it to be a more streamlined process (wouldn't it be great if I could just send in information to one place and get back a kit of changed documents?) It is not without expense, of course, but I decided I wasn't going to let the expense limit or deter me from doing what felt right.
Teri is keeping her previous married name and she has a different perspective. She doesn't want the expense or the trouble and she feels she's had it longer than she had the name she was given at birth. (I've also had the "Irons" attached to my name longer than any other, but since I have a choice, I'm going to exercise it.) Plus, she feels her eldest daughter does have strong feelings about her keeping it. Since we neither of us feel compelled to have the same last name or to take each other's name, this is an area where we are each just doing what feels right on a personal level.
So, for me, the transition begins and slow and steady will be my mantra.