The Name Change Game

Samantha Nephew.

I like the way it sounds. And I’m not changing it.

Today must be the day we talk about the name change game when you get married, and I’m adding my reasonings to the bunch. I saw two people post about their decision to change, or not change, their last names when they get married, this morning. So here’s my two cents.

I don’t judge people who change their last name, my mother had a maiden name and I liked being a family of Nephews. It was nice (and I’m sure easy) to hear teachers refer to them as The Nephews, or Mr. and Mrs. Nephew.

Mostly, I don’t judge because I don’t really care if you become Mr. & Mrs. So-and-so. Even if you’re replacing a perfectly good (and pronounceable) last name for some weird, multi-syllable name.

And for those who hyphenated, the middle-ground of name changing, more power to you! I considered it, too, but that would kind of defeat one of the purposes for not wanting to change my name.

So what are my reasonings for not changing my name?

  • My main reason is actually really easy. I know a lot of people just call it a piece of paper, and it really is just representative of a much more valuable thing, but my bachelor’s degree (and soon master’s degree) diploma says Samantha L. Nephew. Not Samantha L. James. Or Nephew-James for that matter. I realize that’s a pretty trite reason for a lot of people, but in my family, the opportunity to do what I’ve done is a big deal. 
  • For someone who is a self-proclaimed overambitious workaholic, I’m really lazy about things that I don’t have to do. My wallet was stolen in Madrid three weeks ago and I still haven’t gotten my last ID-type thing because I don’t really need it. I have my license and my passport so it’s not a pressing issue. So, I’ll just wait on it. And rush to get it when I need it. That’s my long-winded explanation about why I’m not changing my name, I don’t feel like it’d be important enough to go through all the paperwork of becoming a James. When we’ve tied the knot, I like the idea of just being done with it. No running around to boring offices and waiting forever to change the name. I make enough things in my life hard so I appreciate when things are easy 🙂
  • I miss my Mom and Dad. A lot. Every day. I like that being Samantha Nephew means that I’m an Art and Zenna Nephew production. Of course, I’d still be if I became a James, but I’m a yuppie who lost her parents too soon. It feels like a connection to that time in my life when they were with me.
  • It’s kind of based on feminist-y principle I have. Unless it comes to growing live humans inside of me, why should I do something that people wouldn’t expect from Mark? Why isn’t anyone asking Mark if he’ll become a Nephew? This isn’t really a main reason but it is a question I have!

This will cause issues later down the road. Specifically, what do we name our children? Clearly, I’m partial to the Nephew moniker myself, but they will be his kids, too. And honestly, I don’t think Nephew-James is an appealing blend of names. I’ve offered the compromise of coming up with really epic, kick-ass last names that have nothing to do with either of us, but he declined. Thankfully, this obstacle is still a few years away from having to be dealt with.

So I will remain Samantha Nephew, or just Ms. Nephew post-wedding. Besides, there’s already at least two Mrs. James’ that I know of 😉

Easy breezy.

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One thought on “The Name Change Game

  1. This is a big decision, for sure. I’m getting married soon (date TBD, but definitely sometime this year) and I haven’t figured out what to do about my last name yet. I don’t feel like my current name is so “established” that it would be difficult to start using something else, but then again…I’ve had my name for almost 33 years. I like how it flows.

    Then again, do I want my husband and I to have different last names? And what will we do if we have kids? It’s difficult to answer those questions.

    What will likely happen is that I won’t change my name right away and just wait to see how I feel about it later, after we’re married. 🙂

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