<Please excuse me while I take a brief hiatus from discussing my uterus.>
It happens every couple months. Like clockwork. Another article – for example here, here, here and just today, here – in the NY Times, that paragon of liberal media, about names. Marriage and names. Children and names. Families and names. About “maiden” names and married names and professional names. And let’s not forget, the bane of everyone’s existence, the hyphenated name.
Among other deep insights regarding the
FIRST WORLD PROBLEM HERE! struggles of
name change, these articles generally include something about how hyphenated last
names are hard. No one understands
them. They confuse LITERALLY EVERYONE.
Government agencies are endlessly perplexed by them. Children with hyphenated
names hate them, are embarrassed by them, inevitably grow up to become
disordered, maladjusted sociopaths hell bent on righting the wrong of their
birth certificate misfortune – that
dastardly hyphenated last name! (And so on).
So let me own up to something: I have a hyphenated last name. In fact, several of my close friends also have hyphenated last names. I realize this isn’t the “hard data” that the NY Times is working with, but among the dozen or so people I know with hyphenated last names, literally none of us has ever complained about the INCREDIBLY HEAVY BURDEN of, god forbid, two last names. It’s never been an onerous task to write our names out in full. It’s really not the end of the world that sometimes my JetBlue e-ticket truncates my name before it’s finished. And it wasn’t actually stressful to get married and decide to keep my own hyphenated last name.
But now, here we are, on the precipice of birthing another human life. And everyone wants to know: EGADS! WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR A LAST NAME?! For whatever reason, this question seems to be a source of great, all consuming stress for other people (just not really for us).
So, let’s cut to the chase. For the sake of confidentiality, let’s assume my last name is Smith-Jones. And my husband’s last name is Brown. Our son will be <wait for it> Smith-Brown. Is it a perfect, sustainable solution? Of course not. Is it actually that confusing? No, it really, really isn’t.
So yes, dear friends, readers, and miscellaneous interweb robots chiming in from the northern Caucasus: our son will have a hyphenated last name. We will be <prepare for impact> a family of three people, with three different last names. It will, I can assure you, make us no less of a family. We will still be bound by blood and DNA and you know, love. So at least we’ve got that going for us.
What about you guys? What’s your naming game plan?