Happy Monday! It was a busy busy weekend for us, so I thought I’d try to separate the big activities into several different posts. Also, I apologize for the ambiguous nature of this post. Obviously, friends and family know our last names and need no explanation. But because the internet can be a scary, evil place, (my work website was hacked over the weekend! grrr!) I do my best to safeguard personal information, such as our last name.

After almost 4 years of scrutiny for bucking tradition, name misspellings and rerouted mail, I finally, legally, changed my name! Not that I feel the need to explain myself, but I know my name confuses everyone I know! Long story short, I never legally changed my name after we got married. Why? Well because I started “my life” prior to getting married– just like millions of other women do this day and age. Therefore, professionally, I had collected a laundrylist of bylines under my maiden before taking vows. Personally, since I was settling in NJ on my own, I had also set up shop with my maiden name. To me, well, to us, it made most sense to keep my maiden name. Even though we live in one of the bluest, most liberal states in the U.S., people constantly questioned my choice to keep that name– the name that epitomized more than my professional flourishing, but also my dad’s hardwork and a promise for a better life. Before I graduated from college, before Jeff and I were ever an equation and having already determined my aspired career path, my dad candidly asked me if I would consider keep my maiden name professionally…”Because it represents much more than who I am, but how I got there.” Of course I obliged. I’ve explained this many times before, but quite honestly, I never intended to keep my maiden name to take on some feminazi role, but instead, the whole name thing was a personal decision that Jeff not only supported, but one he also wholeheartedly defended. Afterall, we married for love, not for names, right?

To clarify, I kept my maiden name legally and professionally. I will continue to keep my maiden name professionally. But socially, I had always gone by Jennifer maiden name + married name. Although, that was never really recognized– which is fine. Unfortunately, because of the name discrepancy, if a check is made out to the wrong name, I can never deposit it myself because my legal name says otherwise. Also, if my mail is addressed incorrectly, some other Jennifer with the same married name gets that mail. oops! In the grand scheme of things, those are all minor details in life, really.

However, as of Friday, I am now legally, Jennifer maiden name + last name! No hyphen please. Needless to say, it was an exciting day for our little growing family. For those wondering, Baby B will have a normal name. While it’s a known Filipino tradition to have the mother’s maiden name for her children’s middle name, we’re going a different route since I will continue to carry that maiden name. No hyphens for him either– Baby B + middle name+ last name.

While I regularly see my name in print every month, seeing my name differently on my license further solidified this transition and the anticipation of a brand new era!

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